Musketeer-type units should be handled with care

In order to better represent the gunpowder age and line infantry tactics, the musketeer-type unit has an unprecedented design in this series:

  • It’s a front-line unit with high hp.
  • It has a decent melee damage.
  • It is also a ranged unit so you can effective hit-run with it.

Don’t get me wrong. I actually think that’s a great design. The problem is, if you give them too much bonus, they easily become OP. Every civ with even the average musketeer could spam them in the early game, and every civ with better musketeers can spam them throughout the game.
Unlike other unit types with fewer roles, any special trait would make them OP (faster speed, ranged defense, etc.), not to mention special traits on top of strong base stats.
Even though I liked diversity, I do think musketeer-type units should be more standardized, and it’s dangerous to tweak the stats too much.

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I don’t know, the Portuguese Musketeer is Royal Guard and has 3 upgrade cards, but it is not even their main unit, and is usually completely ignored.
The only European civs that massively uses Musketeers is British, Swedes and Ottomans, and that is mostly because they lack Skirmishers.

If anything, it would be good to have an Euro civ that uses Mass Musk while still having other options.

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That’s probably because their dragoons are so good, and the musketeer bonus comes much later than British.
Fast ranged unit is another menace in almost every RTS, though, but that’s a different story.

That would be a good idea.
However, Japan also has skirmishers (yumi plays exactly like a skirmisher rather than an archer), but they still combine them with ashigaru musketeers, which is a very op unit. And ashigaru is the perfect example of “too many bonuses and special traits on top of high base stats”.

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Personnaly, I have always found the musketeer design strange. Colonial age is probably arround 1600, at the time where pike and shot formation are the standard army in Europe. Musket fire begin to be deadly at range, but you still need a lot of pikemen to protect musket carrying soldier against cavalery charge. From 1600 to 1700, the number of pikeman/melee infantery will progressively drop to reach 0% when musketeer are equiped with bayonet. From this time, musketeer will efficiently take care of cavalery, unless deployed in a very thin line.

In the game, you start with musketeer with bayonet, meaning that they can counter cavalery. Effectively, they are ranged unit with a strong range attack, meaning that they will always be more effective than pikemen (unless, obviously, you can’t train musketeer!). I would have liked to have weak range unit at the beginning of the game (skirmisher with lower range) to force player training pikemen. I understand the design choice. For newer player playing against the AI, it’s more easy to just build one unit that have few weakness.

The age 3 bring the skirmisher, the most formidable counter to the musketeer, with a much higher range and strong multiplier against heavy infantery. To me, it represent the new light infantery tactics, that have been used effectively during the French and Indian war (and before in other region of Europe) and the new rifle. Contrary to the the musketeer, skirmisher are not good against cavalery, and we have our counter triangle musketeer/skirmisher/cavalery.

If we analyse the skirmisher we see that :

  • Higher range (20), nearly two times the musketeer range
  • The difference in hp in not that big between veteran skirmisher (144) and musketeer (180) (~20%).
  • Same speed as musketeer.
  • It’s damage against musketeer can be increase by 50% with an arsenal tech.

With the faster pace of the game, skirmisher will generally be available arround 10 min, unless heavy colonial fighting, and they will counter effectively musketeer unit.

I believe you find amercan musketeer with higher range and ashigaru with higher speed OP (maybe carol with range multiplier against cav ?). I somewhat agree, although most of the time you can counter them effectively. I think its the other bonus these civ have, that together make these units borderline op.

I think that’s due to multiple reasons:
- You cannot let a unit switch roles when upgraded, like musketeers being countered by cavalry from the beginning, and suddenly gaining the bayonet and turning into a cavalry counter.
- You cannot have long range counter units in early game either.
So even though early musketeers should function more like “skirmishers”, they still start with bayonets.

A better and more “accurate” design is, similar to what you suggested, start with a skirmisher unit but with shorter range and smaller multipliers, which gains longer range and more multipliers through upgrades. Line infantry with bayonets like the in-game musketeer could be a separate and more advanced unit line.
But “unit gaining range when upgraded” is an addition in TAD, and the game had been already designed like that and it was impossible to overhaul it.

US musketeer feels less OP and less complained about. Probably because they cost too much, and the +2 range has less impact than fast speed or ranged resistance.

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It is more because their Skirmisher is much better than anyone else’s, and Skirmishers are the Meta units, not Musketeer units like the Regular.

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Probably. If some other unit stands out, musketeers might get overshadowed. But if you nerf the state militia or Portuguese dragoons, their musketeers would stand out as well.

Also, Japan has a very strong skirmisher, but it is less complained than ashigaru.

Most euro civ musks are balanced if u take their skirms in count, Janissary and Sepoy are tanky in later ages, and both have their own advantages but again when u count them as a whole civ (eco+attack+hp+presence of skirm) thay are very slightly better than euro musks but easily acceptable, however when u talk about ashis they are quite a different league they have better HP of Janissary + High hand damage somewhat resembling sepoy + high range damage + the bonus advantage of 4.5 speed, athough Japan lacks a good dragoon, and ashis are probably are made to do work of both ! but other civs usually lack the means to leverage that !

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Yeah perhaps ashigaru (and also carolean) is the biggest and only problem here.
Because musketeers are already tanky and versatile, any bonus that gives them additional roles would make them OP.

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The issue with a general-purpose unit, is taht it vastly overshadows specialized ones, if made too strong.
This is also seen with Marines in Starcraft 2, they become a counter-all.

General purpose units that are balanced, however, tend to be weak and neglected, like the Portuguese, French, Spanish and Russian Musketeer. The Swedes, Ottos and Brits only use their Musks en masse, because they have no Skirmishers, otherwise they would not.

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Yeah that’s the kind of point I’m trying to make here. Because it is already a versatile, general-purpose unit, tweaking the stats too much and giving them additional roles would be dangerous.

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Personally I prefer a musk Huss composition over a skirm goon one. I feel that skirm goon is better in the late game or in team because you can have your units behind walls and hussar pathing is really bad when fighting where there are a lot of buildings and other units. I feel like musk Huss is a better age 2 and early age 3 composition. But once it gets to the point that you can get a critical mass of dragoon, musk Huss becomes less powerful. I think if you have trouble killing musk Huss, you need to foucus on getting a good mass of dragoon and skirm while defending early attacks . Japan and Sweden are an entirely different story tbh because seva lifeguard makes skirms only do decent and makes goons to very poorly, and Ashi speed let’s them get on top of your skirms and kill them easily. But for most civs musks are fine balance wise

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What bonus does British Musketeer have that comes sooner than Portugals Musketeer? Until their royal guard upgrades in Age 4 they are just basic musks, no better than any other. The only thing I can think of is the British age 2 church tech Thin Red Line but thats not always a very good tech to take.

If anything I think Portugal can get better musks because they can get the Logisitcan Age up that gives them plus one range. Sorry if I misunderstood you.

Marines were not the problem, the super effective flying medics are/were, as they allowed stim to be basically free.

they have shipments that improves them in age 2 and 3.

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The +15% attack card and the +15% hp card comes in age 2 for the British, and another +15% attack/hp card in age 3.
Portuguese used to have three cards with the same bonuses in age 4, now the +15% attack is moved to age2, +15% hp to age 3, and +15% attack/hp stayed in age 4, but still later than the British overall.

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I mean, I guess we need to consider the fact that Portugal have the best skirmisher-type unit on the game and one of the best Dragoons as well as a factor for their Musketeer being underused.

On the topic in general: I’m guessing that this topic is directed to the Carolean-type of unit. (Sorry if I’m interpreting wrong)

I do like how they are on the game right now, but I agreed that some cautions are required when implementing a unit like this, as I remember when they came out they look like a Rodelero with a ranged attack. Now that they attack got nerfed, they are kind of ok.

British Musketeer/Grenadier Combat card comes in Age 3, while Ports onlyy get Gunpowder Infantry Combat in Age 4.
This means that Brits do have the better Musks, sooner.

If we want to see more musk in the game (instead of skirmisher/goon), just increase the damage modifier of skirmisher against light cav from 1.5 to 2, and I’m sure we will see french musk/bell/cuir instead of skirm/dragoon/cuir more often (same for other nation).

For portuguese, it’s more difficult because of the speed of caçadores (4.5), musk will just slow them down.

Could have sworn Portugal had similar cards just Musk/Skirm rather than Musk/Gren but I get muddled.

Still I personally prefer Portugese ones for the +1 range in commerce.