Hypothetical Regional Unit: Fire Lancer

Something I had an idea for the other day, thought I would expand on it.

This is conceptually a new regional unit that could be added in a East Asian-themed DLC, the Fire Lancer:



The Chinese Fire Lancer (Or, Huǒ Qiāng) was an early form of military application of gunpowder, arriving around the 10th-12th Centuries, many hundreds of years before more widespread gunpowder usage. They were made of a long pole or polearm, with a firework-like attachment on the tip.

This would then be lit and pointed at a target, spraying them with incendiary or pellets that had been lodged into the firework.

Early hand cannons would use this similar concept before progressing into a design more like a modern rifle.

In-game stats/usage:

Civilizations with access to this unit:

  • Chinese
  • Jurchens
  • Khitans
  • Tanguts

The Fire Lancer would be available from the Archery Range in the Castle Age, in the slot where the Hand Cannoneer is.

Once reaching Imperial Age, any civilization with access to both Fire Lancers and Hand Cannoneers that researches Chemistry, will have their Fire Lancers automatically upgraded to the latter (Example: Jurchens). For civs that have Fire Lancers but lack Hand Cannoneers, the Fire Lancer would simple gain flaming projectiles and +1 attack (Example: Chinese).

Hit Points: 35

Pierce Attack: 14

Attack Bonus:

  • +5 vs Infantry
  • +2 vs Rams
  • +1 vs Spearmen

Rate of fire: 3.45

Attack Delay: 0.35

Range: 6

Accuracy: 75%

Projectile Speed: 7.5

Melee Armor: 1

Pierce Armor: 0

Armor class:

  • Archer
  • Gunpowder unit

Speed: 0.96

Line of Sight: 8


  • 45 Food
  • 50 Gold

Training Time: 38 Seconds

What in-game purpose does the Fire Lancer serve?

The Fire Lancer design would serve several purposes. It would act as a soft infantry counter-unit in the Castle Age, and for civs with Hand Cannoneer, it would act as a way to mass them in early Imperial Age via making Fire Lancers during the Castle Age. Providing an interesting design for a hypothetical new gunpowder civ that I don’t believe the game currently has.

The Fire Lancer is a little worse in several areas than the Hand Cannoneer; lower HP, range, a little less damage, significantly less bonus damage and a slightly longer training time. Hopefully this is enough to prevent them being problematic in Castle Age.


I like this idea in concept, can’t speak to the numbers and how good they are though. It also fixes the issue of the people that invented gunpowder (Chinese) not having any gunpowder lol.


Same. I mostly changed them on a conceptual level, to make it so they couldn’t easily pick units off from a distance, when they don’t have the armor to confront them.

That was also part of the concept behind it haha.

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Why not make this a feudal scorpion or castle bombard variation?

Because it’s a guy carrying a hand-held gunpowder weapon, conceptually a similar thing to the Hand Cannoneer. It also showcases the early use of gunpowder in China really well, in giving them access to gunpowder in the Castle Age.

Plus the Scorpion I see more as like a bolt thrower/ballista than something like this.


Scorpion fires a bolt so does thing.Single man using a gunpowder unit can be a bombard too early canons fired spears.

Actually no, this does not fire a bolt. It fires a mix of explosive and pellets.

Mongols and Koreans shoild also get it

This gives them access to Hand Cannoneers without the need for Chemistry.
For consistency, maybe researching Chemistry instead would upgrade them.
Some civs may have bonuses about this, like the Jurchens could research Chemistry without food or research Chemistry instantly.

Maybe giving Hand Cannoneers to the Chinese is a simpler option?


That’s literally what I said.

Their current design lacks it, and I don’t want to upset the way they are currently supposed to work.

Plus a East-Asian regional unit would be a nice addition to the game, as currently no units are based on this area of the world.


The devs initially didn’t give hand cannoneers to Chinese for balance reasons, and tbh I think that was a good call. I think giving them this Fire Lancer is a good happy medium, but giving the full hand cannoneers would still be a bit much I think


Mongols, probably yes. Koreans, not so sure. Do you have anything to read on them using such a unit?

I mean let the Chinese enjoy the line of Fire Lancer → Hand Cannoneer too. Rocketry should also give +2 attack to this line. Chinese have fully upgraded Arbalesters and Chu Ko Nu. I don’t think giving Hand Cannoneers to them would upset the things.

It’s interesting that we seldom see the Bohemians play Hand Cannoneers in the Castle Age. Maybe we could say that the reason is the cost of Chemistry, but I guess Castle Age Hand Cannoneers would still be rare even the Chemistry has researched. As a weaker version of Hand Cannoneers, Fire Lancers will be a fun and probably more practical choice than the Bohemian Castle Age Hand Cannoneers since they don’t require Chemistry. But the point I’m trying to make is that the quality of Hand Cannoneers themselves isn’t really a concern, especially in the Imperial Age.

If we don’t have much room to buff the Hand Cannoneers, maybe giving them the next level of upgrades would be an option? I am not sure.

Spend an extremely expensive cost (e.g. 2000 food, 1000 gold) to upgrade them to units like Musketeers, with excellent stats that can really change the battle, such as 95% accuracy, etc., and only allow access to certain civilizations , such as Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, etc. Apparently the civs with Fire Lancers will not have access to Musketeers.

if koreans had kwacha then they must have used fire arrows prevoiusly