Melee Infantry- Discussion, Balance, Suggestion?!

Hi all, its been 3 years since the game DE version was launch and many more years since the original was launched in 2010 if im not mistaken.

Combat and balance has been a constant topic of “debate” for a long time, the things I bring foward today may or may have not been discussed before. Without futher blabla lets get into it.

Melee Infantry
I understand that part of the “issue” with them is the period in which the game settles, a period of time in which most european powers change from having heavily armored units to gunpowder, thus shields and armor lost its usage and those many armies had lots of reforms.

The Issue I vs Cav
To put it simple most if not all Melee infantry units have bonus vs cavalry (x3 vs Cavalry, for ex.). Think of a melee unit, it probably has this, Doppelsoldner, Samurai, Jaguar Knight, Rodelero, Hospitalier, etc.

As a plus, most musketeers have it too, so what are pikemen and halberdier for? Lets do some maths

  • Doppelsoldner has 20 attack and x3.0 vs Cav = 60
  • Pikemen has 8 attack and x5.0 vs Cav = 40
  • Halberdier has 28 attack and x2.0 vs Cav = 56

Pikeman are famous for being a cheap unit, true. In some or many cases they are massed vs a musketeer or rodelero/doppelsoldner that cost gold, more rss or both.
Note: Of course other things should be taken in consideration as cards, civs bonuses, unit avaliability, cost, etc.

I understand that some civs dont have pikemens, halberdiers or both. For example Germany doesnt have halbardiers, however I have to make notice that Doppelsolners used halberdiers too.

Melee infantry that doesnt wield a spear/pike/halberdier should not have vs cav bonus (or not have more than 2 bonus), but instead vs infantry be it light, ranged, heavy, etcetera. As they specialize in melee, should be weak vs cav, strong vs all infantry in close combat. Yeah it will be complicated.

This will be a serie of posts, will post links down bellow:

Pd, Comment, share, etc.


The musket faced out the pike for 2 reasons, A, a bajonett turns a musket into a spear, B formations are more important than tools. Even light infantry could repell Cav if they formed a tight formation fast enough.

I mentioned musket as a reference that pretty much all infantry have vs cav bonus, Obviously musketeers (musket like infantry) due various reasons were good vs cav, in most civs they replaced spearlines.

Any tool? the heck are you speaking, romans legions in tight formation aka turtle and the like lost vs the Parthians, later vs the huns, and for a very long time Mongols were a dominant military force. Wiliam the conqueror beat the saxon king “tight” formation with Knights.

So no, its not due tight formations nor “any” tool will do, cavalry at the time of the game attacked from side or the backs only fools run straight, ex Waterloo english platoons formed in square with muskets. Tight formation or not if a horse “bump” into you the line or formation will be broken.

In that sense spears/pikes/halberdiers had specific uses, stop the charge, kill the horse or even kill the rider. In some other cases they were even used effectively vs other infantry due their reach advantage that aint represented in game either.

Yes any tool.

Of course let’s ignore the fact that there is a distinct difference between the huns and mongols and parthians (which got multiple times rofflestomped by the romans, it’s only the late romans that really were not capable anymore) were also range based forces. Ranged cavalry based forces.

And no, the fact that the squares at waterloo held should tell you enough.

There’s a reason for the infantry revolution. And you are discussing an game in an era where the infantry revolution made cavalry ever more obsolete and or forced it into a very specific form.

Their main focus was indeed Ranged cavalry yes, but they were forces focused on horses aka cavalry. I dont deny Romans wining some times But Parthians were a thing and Romans never efectively held-conquer now days Afganistan (Persia and the zones around).

That and not to forget Crasus death and defeat. Nor they advanced into the lands of the Scythes.

Huns although their empire was brief, effectively terrorised both Empires and won more battles vs the lost ones. We could debate about this but it aint the topic.

I dont know if you are reading the topic and my comments well, I wonder.

Nor I understand from where your self confidence come, since you are stating something but dont back it up with evidence or argument.

Again, William the conqueror beat the Saxons who used shieldwall (tight formation) with Norman “Knights”. Its a fact infantry even tightly formed is meaningless if not proprely equiped. Its like saying we will take a castle with our infantry armed with spoons.

And the swiss beat feudal knights multiple times, with what ammounts to initially scyths reforged. Your point is naught.

Also one anecdote doesn’t make an argument. Also Wiliam in the 1000s not the 15 th century when the game starts.

And as soon as the tercio shows up cav is basically done for as a mainline combat unit that can operate alone as a melee unit.
And it shouldn’t. There’s a reasons why dragoons were more numerous, why cavalry became very specific in it’s use

AS soon as muskets became reliable regardless of type, and the bajonet folded the pike into the musket it was in essence over without infantry and artillery support. Hence no, Cavalry multipliers for game balance reasons actually are far too forgiving imo. Especially for units like mamlucks.

Further Halbadiers are now in a half way decent spot for quite a few civs. The problem is pikemen, being paid in wood and falling off severly due to fragility to the point that cav beats pikes too often and Doppels, which honestly should’ve been replaced in a propper rework for the german civ.

Swiss beat fedual knight multiple times, is an anecdote not evidence, its like saying British beat multiple times French knights (it is true but lacks the needed evidence or further description). Plus never claimed Wiliam to be contemporaneus to the game period.

Im not discussing muskets cus we agree they (gunpowder weapons) replaced most weapons, sorry if I was unclear. My point is most melee infantry has vs cav bonuses, making anti cav specific units more usless than they are, for example, Rodelero, Doppelsoldner, many aztec units, samurais.

Back to the Tercios, they were suppousedly to be famous for being nearly undefeated but in game, rodelero “replaces” them as late unit vs cavalry.

Dont know what you meant with the Tercio, but cavs had its uses. Chase enemies, attack flanks, rearguard, deal with artillery, to mention a few.