Firstly I’m clarifying that I’m not asking to create a new infantry unit from Barracks. Adding new unit without a clear role will only add to the collection of decorative units.
What I mean by variety is different unit line regardless of upgrades. Barracks have the exact same 3 unit lines for the past 24 years. And the 3rd unit line, Eagle, is available for only 3 civs. Rest of the 42 civs have exact same unit types on barracks. Maybe you can consider Italians and Goths as they can train UU from barracks. New Romans have also an Unique Upgrade. This means there are only 4 different types of barracks in the game:
Goths and Italians
Rest of the 41 civs
Compared to Barracks, all military buildings have more variety in terms of available unit lines. Even SW has equal variety.
Generic without BBC
Generic with BBC
Dravidians, Gurjaras and Hindustanis
Generic without HC
Generic with HC
Dravidians, Gurjaras, Hindustanis
Generic without any regional units
Generic with Camel
Generic with BE
Bengalis and Dravidians
And on top of this less variety, all barracks units have pretty similar HP. Their HP is around 45/55/60 in Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age. Militia line has slight HP advantage. At least armor difference is noticeable.
Compared to that, stable units have 3 different HP category - Light cavalry for scout line and SL, Heavy cavalry for Knight and Camel, and then there is BE. Archery Range units also have a nice variation on HP due to having access to CA and EA. All 3 foot units have same HO category though. And SW units HP is all over the places. There are 5 different HP category just for 6 units.
Agree. Barrack units are significantly lower in variety. I think there are two issues here:
The developers favour adding cavalry-based, rather than infantry-based, regional or secondary UUs. (And Elephant Archers are technically cavalry as well.) Most likely, this is because cavalry is perceived as more exciting to play.
Most of the roles infantry units could fulfill in this game are already covered. We have the Heavy Infantry (Militia), Cost-efficient Anti Cav (Spearman), and Shock Infantry (Eagles). Outside of adding regional UUs with special abilities, (like a Firelancer doing Coustilier-like charge damage or Viking Pillager unit with Keshik-like plunder ability), it is really hard to add another unit.
Currently, the best that can be done to add diversity is to create regional or secondary unique units (i.e. Firelancer, Pillagers, etc.). This could be done by giving the original 13+5 civs Secondary or Regional UUs through a mini-expansion pack.
Now for the less sensible idea:
However, another fun way (a lot of effort, maybe as part of an overhaul mod) to improve barrack diversity is to do the following:
Have four types of infantry unit:
Assault Infantry (Warrior/Champion Line), with high HP, armour, and attack.
Anti-Cav Infantry (Poleaxe/Halberdier Line), specializing in fighting cavalry.
Defensive Infantry (Spear/Pikeman Line), cost-efficient and high HP with low ranged melee attack.
Shock Infantry (Sword-and-Shield Line). fast infantry or pseudo-cavalry.
Secondary or Regional UU are considered a specialized variants of one of these four infantry types. For example, Eagles are considered a specialized shock infantry.
Most, if not all, civs should only have partially completed barrack techs and upgrades.
This way, the barrack unit variety is significantly improved, as all possible infantry roles are fulfilled.
They should add some of the scenario editor units as regional/unique upgrades. Some I can think of are - Heavy Pikeman (instead of halberdiers), Eastern Swordsman (Some of the East Asian civs could have this upgrade), Nordic swordsman(unique upgrade for nordic civs), Heavy Swordsman (equivalent to Legionary).
These units are already present in the game and I feel they should be used.
Every regional units (besides Dromon) is basically a cavalry.
Steppe Lancer and Battle Elephant are just straight up cavalry, Armoured Elephant and Elephant Archer are also tagged as cavalry and can be countered by Pikeman.
Eagle Warriors are a cavalry replacement but are also countered by Infantry just different Infantry.
Even if you count units like Camel Riders or even Paladins as regional units all of them are cavalry or cavalry like.
Every single regional units (including the Dromon) get some bonus damage from the Spearman Line.
I’d love to see Foot Archer regional units too, not just Infantry.
I think a HC replacement regional units could make a lot of sense, something like the Slinger.
You could say that crossbow units can be regional for euro civs and others would get some sort of better bow units.
Well maybe militia line could be break to two different units one is armed with shield and one handed weapon and second one is armed with two handed weapons and they would have little bit different role.
Go the aoe route and make generic slinger feudal only unit with no upgrade and inca automatically upgrade to the uu slinger with a different name.Can keep the name slinger for incas and calling the new unit something else can also work.
Uh… Slingers has +10 bonus vs infantry plus rof of 2+ 5 base range. It is somewhat like giving genoese xbow to every civ to counter cavalry. Imo, it is even more than enough. Slinger do more dmg vs infantry than GC vs cavalry. Slinger produced in archery range while GC get bottlenecked by castle.
Even paladin and elephant melt in front of GC, what kind of militia buff is going to compensate new slinger?
Cavalry only have melee generic counters, pikes and camels. I find it unreasonable to have ranged generic counter for militia.
Let’s start with small direct buff for militia with 1 movement speed and +8 vs light cav. And make a unit(s) compliment with militia line.
Solution would be if they would introduce light cavalry armor. Knight line will have current cavalry armor which can be called heavy cavalry armor and scout line will have light cavalry armor and militia line starting from men at arms will have bonus damage vs them.
Men at arms +1 vs light cavalry armor
Long Swordsman +2 vs light cavalry armor
Two Handed Swordsman +3 vs light cavalry armor
Champion +4 vs light cavalry armor