Modernisation & Replacement Techs/Shipments

With the latest European ‘replacement’ tech being the Port’s Ordenança with the Crossbowmen being armed with rifles and becoming more like the proper musket-wielding Ordenança miilita, what other units would you like to see have the chance to ‘modernise’?

As well as the aforementioned, we also have the Longbows > Rangers and of course Crossbows > Landwher amongst many more.

Is there room for more? Is it a silly ‘mechanic’ and all of these extra unique units should be available seperately? Would you want to see all archaic units being able to change?

Personal wishlisty stuff for me would be ships eventually getting modernised to steamships and ironclad ocean-going vessels (odd that the Fed State civs have these modern - though more riverine - ships from the start, but hey-ho).

More importantly, what about the Asian Dynasties? Europeans have got a few options with modernised units however Japan and even more so China remained stuck in time. I’d argue that AD civs could do with the more sweeping changes as in reality they saw that they were trailing behind and sought measures to bring their militiaries to Western European-style organisation (often hiring foreign advisors).


I think that’s the full list:

2020.10 on: Ottoman Janissary:scroll:Palace Intrigue → :church:New Order Infantry → Nizam Fusilier (retrainable units, replaces cards)
2022.03: British Longbowman:sailboat:Rangers → Ranger (full replacement)
2022.06~10: British Longbowman → :scroll:The Glorious Revolution → :church:Roger’s Rangers → :church:Queen’s Rangers
2022.10: German Crossbowman:sailboat:Scharnhorst Reform → Landwehr (full replacement)
2022.10: German War Wagon:sailboat:Princely Bavarian Chevaulegers → Prinz Chevauleger (full replacement)
2023.07: Russian Oprichnik:scroll:Reformist Tsar → :church:Lifeguard Jaegers → Counter Jaeger (replaces cards)
2023.07: Russian Cavalry Archer:scroll:Reformist Tsar → :church:St. Petersburg Dragoons → Counter Dragoon (replaces cards)
2023.11: Portuguese Crossbowman:scroll:Treaty of Tordesillas → :church:Ordenança → Ordinance Rifleman (full replacement)

It seems the greater driving force behind these “modernizations” is thematic rather than gameplay:

  • Longbowman has always been a “too medieval” thorn to history lovers’ side.

  • The community’s long-held discontent over Germans, a civ that’s more medieval HRE+Hussites mutant combo than the Austria or Prussia that people want, has been addressed by giving players access to Landwehr and other German units from modern history, allowing them to remodel the civ as they see fit.

  • Ordinance Rifleman adopts the community’s suggestion that the Portuguese civ should reflect the historical military reform that replaced crossbow militia with gunners.

  • The one that started it all, Nizam Fusilier may have had a gameplay motivation, namely to address the Janissary’s lategame power fall-off when it was the Ottomans’ only infantry unit.

There’s no more medieval “sore thumb” like Longbowman and War Wagon left, no more obvious target to replace, and these designs have always been controversial. Some potential targets may be (I’m not suggesting they should from a gameplay standpoint, just that following AoE3DE’s current thematic-heavy trajectory, they could be done):

  • The Spanish civ has an early conquistadors & cold arms identity. They’ve been given Soldados, though there’s space for more units that reflect the actual composition & evolution of Tercio armies.

  • The Dutch civ, focusing on their Golden Age, has only received limited rework compared to what’s later been done to the French & Germans.

  • The Asian civs as you said, can be updated to reflect historical modernization.


This 100%. Longbows/Rangers should work the same as Pavisers/Bersagliere. Landwher are redundant nonsense that should actually be musket infantry. Portugal is the one exception that could have a swap, but it should be to Arquebusiers, not some silly rifleman. The only reason for the change is that the crossbows paired with extremely modern uniforms looked incredibly stupid. With the option for Arquebusiers, maybe Cassadors could also be moved to age 4 to align with how Longbows/Rangers and Pavisers/Bersagliere work.


And I’m just amusedly watching what further mad scheme the devs can concoct to keep painting new pictures inside the AoE3 frame.

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Thank you for the succinct list! :slight_smile:

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What do you think of Nizam?

Landwher are redundant nonsense that should actually be musket infantry. Portugal is the one exception that could have a swap, but it should be to Arquebusiers, not some silly rifleman.

So far, AoE3DE has a rule that basic Musketeers are special.

A Barracks can have 2 different light infantry lines, but only either 1 or 0 musketeer equivalent.

A civ that already has one won’t get a second; a civ that has none mustn’t be given any.

— As usual, all the merc / native / outlaw cases don’t apply. …and Azap (which technically has no musket infantry tag)?

Spanish need new units and new skins


Brain-bustingly stupid this suggestion may be, the answer MIGHT potentially lie with the fellows who made Rise of Nations—Big Huge Games. We can look at their current “flagship” title, Dominations, where the German unique unit for AoE3’s time period is called the Junker. Using an entire social class for a single unit doesn’t fit THIS game, though, but the core of an idea could be there.

Wikipedia tells me that the title of “Fahnenjunker” was reportedly the name given to junkers who joined the army as junior officers instead of inheriting estates or joining the civil service. It still exists today as a rank in the German and Swedish armed forces. Junker itself remains a military rank in Georgia.

That use of a whole military rank as a basis for naming a unit, in this case, an expensive musket infantry (can this be a 2-population unit like the Soldado? Perhaps it trains a bit faster and moves a bit faster since it’s Prussian, but can’t toss bombs), has precedent in this game, albeit only recently. We were given the Poruchik, which is the Russian term for a Lieutenant—who apparently commanded Streltsy historically? Huh. Yeah. Why not? Make the Fahnenjunker a unit like the Sentinel or Soldado, with some funky Teutonic quirk that distinguishes it from those two.

We can keep the Landwehr as it, I like it and think that it has a niche. What they add, I’ve come to realize, is not some weird ersatz musket usage, but something else. Higher base damage and flatter multipliers, plus a slightly cheaper overall cost, mean that Landwehr trade better into artillery, hand cavalry, and other skirmishers than Needle Gunners do, particularly in larger masses. It’s akin to the Maltese Arbalester, but less pronounced and specialized. Musketeers are better against cavalry yes, but Landwehrs should be supporting other units against Hussars and their ilk ideally—and Landwehr still have the advantage over Musketeers when facing down skirmishers. Infantry masses shouldn’t be facing down cannons alone, yes, but enough footmen and you can wear the cannons down eventually, especially in Fortress Age.

Japan can keep their Yumi Archer. Kyūdo is still an important cultural and athletic tradition over there. They can keep the Yabusame (once again naming a unit after a whole social thing instead of just its function, but the line blurs here) as well, since that’s also persisted as a cultural/athletic pursuit to the point of showing visiting heads of state Yabusame demonstrations. Giving them something like the Kihei from Wars of Liberty via a card or just straight up in the Barracks in Age III is okay. I guess we can lock Kiheitai behind an Age-Up to make India slightly more unique—now they’d be the only Asian civ with a Commerce Age Skirmisher. As for maybe giving them a gunpowder cavalry, what is the trade-off there? You would inevitably have to lessen some of what
makes the Yabusame a hyper-mobile Culverin in practice. I guess you could be a troll and name this hypothetical unit JUST LIKE the Yabusame, and call it “Hōjutsu”.

As for China, I am in fact advocating for a wholesale unit replacement. The combination of range upgrades, Repelling Volley (though I’d also give that card to a hypothetical Korean civ), and Old Han Reforms add enough pizzaz to the Qiang Pikeman where I don’t really wanna mess up anything with the Old Han Army. The Changdao Swordsman is significantly less unique or special, it’s just a worse Halberdier. Turn that emmeffer into a Revolutionary clone or something similar with a properly Chinese name.

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Nizam are thematically cool, although they are a bit on the complex and over tuned side in practice. And they only swap out cards which isn’t really the same thing as replacing a unit. It would actually be more historically accurate for Nizams to fully replace Janissaries, but I don’t think it would be too fun to kill all your jans to get a new unit type.

It’s because the lesser version of musks is melee heavy infantry, so the civs without musks are to promote that. If you wanted 2 musk units in the standard roster you’d probably have to forego a melee heavy infantry unit to make room on top of making the musk units have unique roles. And it isn’t true there are no dual musks, Nizams and Janissaries are one example and I’d argue that the mercs and outlaws available at the Barracks for some civs should count.

For the French the Crossbowmen having the ability to become Chasseurs would be cool. Though French are very strong in recent patches and dont need such a thing.

But Chasseurs are already in the game…

Although I have no idea why they aren’t properly named and aren’t a unit that can dismount.

How could I forget about the Russian rework:

2023.07: Russian Oprichnik:scroll:Reformist Tsar → :church:Lifeguard Jaegers → Counter Jaeger (replaces cards)
2023.07: Russian Cavalry Archer:scroll:Reformist Tsar → :church:St. Petersburg Dragoons → Counter Dragoon (replaces cards)

Gameplay-wise, the Lifeguard Jaegers is notable for replacing Oprichniks with something that’s functionally completely different. St. Petersburg Dragoons gives the Russian civ its only access to Dragoons.

In addition to thematically replacing the medieval units, they also replaced the original “Bashkir Ponies” and “Kalmucks” church Hussars and Dragoons, while the Bashkir and Kalmyk themes are moved off onto their separate cards.

In theory at least, together with the new Dvoryane and Landed Gentry models making the Cavalry Archer Moscovite rather than Turkic, the updates have remodeled the Russian civ’s image into the Moscovite empire gradually adopting reforms and expanding into frontiers.

AoE3DE only makes minimal, absolutely necessary changes to the Consulate’s “expedition” units. So the Russian Consulate’s “Bashkir” Hussars and “Kalmuck” Dragoons have been replaced by Counter Jaegers and Counter Dragoons.

The Finland revolution can also enable the two units with the Grand Duchy of Finland card.

Hi all,

My greatest trouble with Rus modernization is availability. Only semi-reliable is Dragoon due A4 infinite archer cav. Would be nice if such units could be build normally, barracks/stable or fortress or be sent as papal units.

Also cossacks could be modernized.

Aside from Russians, definitely Spanish could have it too. Lancers could use uniforms, musketeers too, soldado like.

Dragoons, in general resemble “Reiters” (Ryuters dutch, Black riders germans), mounted light cavalry, sometimes armored with pistols that charged and shot, sometimes carrying 1-2 pistols, others as Hakkepelits charged afterwards.

That tactic however changed. Ryuters need a model/texture update. Dragoons could change weapon to carbines as Ryuters do in A4.

And most civs could have a modernization as germans have with wagons for dragoons. Some civs have an alternative as French with revolution. British could be given a charged shot or second ranged attack to their hussars since they didn’t have much difference between huusar-dragoons.

Besides that Asians are the obvious too as you guys said