In the developer stream of the latest patch notes, the developers said that they will increase the base damage and reduce the bonus damage of Abbasid camels in the spring update so that they will be more general-purpose. The reasoning behind this change is that they want the unique units of every civ to be something the players always want to have in the army while not making the entire army out of it.
I think the HRE landsknecht currently is in a similar position to the camel riders. It’s good in certain situations but is too niche for most player to have a few of them in every army. I’d even argue it’s worse than the camel riders in this regard. The camel riders are basically better spearmen that’s faster and not countered by mangonels and archers, so they’re quite effective against mass knights and knights + mangonels composition.
The landsknecht on the other hand would simply be obliterated if the opponent have decent amount of archers or few mangonels. It’s only useful against mass melee infantry without the support of archers and mangonels, which makes it extremely situational and not fitting the design philosophy of civ unique units of "most players would want to have a few in their armies but wouldn’t want to (or can’t) make the entire army of it”.
I think the landsknecht should play a similar role to mangonels. It should be something the opponents want to snipe and focus down instead of taking out along with other units with AOE attacks. Thus I suggest that the landsknecht be changed in these directions:
- Increase the HP and armor so that the opponents would need to focus them down.
- Change the armor class to heavy so it needs to be taken out with crossbows instead of archers, which is the primary component of most feudal armies.
- Increase the cost for balance. On top of that, landsknecht should be something that’s hard to mass produce due to economic constraints, not something that the players don’t want to make because it’s too squishy. This would also pair nicely with the expected Regnitz Cathedral nerf to 2 relics max.
- Decrease the damage if it’s too OP even after the increasing the cost.
- Make it stand out more visually so it’s easier for the opponent to target.
With these changes, the landsknecht would be viable as a mangonel alternative that need be focused down with crossbows instead of springalds and cavalry. It would be exciting to have in the army as HRE players and feared by the their opponents, which fits the design philosophy of civ unique units stated by the devs in the stream far better than it currently does.