(POLL) Should the GRENADIERS use a musket as their weapon?

All the ideas being discussed are intriguing, which leads me to think that perhaps the rework of the “Line Grenadier” card should be treated as a double-edged sword.

The Line Grenadier, despite its stat boosts and fewer weaknesses against specific units, is also undergoing a significant nerf due to the limitation of its “grenade use against units” ability (with reloading and automatic use), which would reduce its damage potential against infantry. Additionally, a possible reduction in its resistance against ranged attacks (-10%) would make it more vulnerable to defensive buildings and skirmisher units. Slower speed would also impact its efficiency when besieging enemy bases, giving opponents valuable seconds to produce more units.

Furthermore, if the “Line Grenadier” card involves a resource cost, this could affect the player’s economy, especially in early game stages like Age 3 (Fortress Age). This could lead to a kind of strategic gamble, where the profitability and sacrifice of this card ultimately depend on the player’s skill and management.

Yes, sometimes I think that all units from the “Commerce Age” (I’m still getting used to this name change) should wear uniforms from the 16th and 17th centuries. The “Redcoat” can give us a hint of what that aesthetic would look like.


Dutch Grenadier circa 1630

I’m content with just adding a bandolier to the musketeers’ skin

My only issue with them just being a more “good all around” unit is that those are almost always either op or weak.

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What if age 2 all grens were the same but replacing all the grenade launchers card was a unique card for each civ that made their gren unique? If only just slightly? More hand attack, more ranged attack, ect.

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there isn’t really a spot for the grenadier in the counter system and because its a shared unit there’s too much baggage in moving them into a specific role. And there will always be overlap, unless they were put into some odd new role like a siege heavy azap (heavy infantry good against ranged cavalry) or like a rifle rider (good against cav and muskets but weak to goons and skirms).

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Can their role not be an anti-Heavy Infantry anti-Light Ranged Cavalry unit? Yes, skirm do that, but what’s different is that (at least the unit I propose) would be weak to skrim, but to offset that they have good siege.

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If you turn them into something like Soldados then they’ll compete with Musketeers. Either they’ll be worse and Grenadiers won’t get used or they’ll be better and Musketeers won’t get used. Neither option is good.

The issue is how the role of Grenadiers evolved over time from just a guy that lobbed grenades to elite heavy infantry shock troops. The depiction of Grenadiers is as the former, but they have the heavy infantry tag as if they were the latter. So they end up defying all the other roles of heavy infantry by being effective against light infantry and weak against cavalry.

What I think needs to be done is to drop the heavy infantry tag and add a new “siege infantry” tag for all infantry currently tagged as siege units.

Siege infantry would occupy a role that falls somewhere between infantry and artillery. Essential, siege infantry would be artillery what shock infantry is to cavalry. All siege infantry would share high ranged resistance, reduced damage from building fire, high siege attack, and a weakness to cavalry. They could have varied specializations just like artillery.

Siege Infantry

  • Siege infantry does x0.75 vs cavalry
  • Buildings do x0.5 vs siege infantry
  • Artillery does x0.75 vs siege infantry (except culvs)
  • Culverins do x3 vs siege infantry
  • Light cavalry does x1.5 vs siege infantry at range

Anti-Infantry (like Falconets)

The grenadier units could have their base attack toned down a little and have a multiplier vs infantry to compensate.

  • Grenadier
  • Fire Thrower
  • Chakram Thrower
  • Flamethrower

Anti-Artillery (like Culverins)

  • Huaraca
  • Arrow Knight
  • Humbaraci

Anti-Building (like Mortars)

  • Ram
  • Petard


  • Mantlet
  • Huron Mantlet

To represent the shifting role of Grenadiers over time, the Line Grenadiers card could transform them into something more like Soldados or Giant Grenadiers and give them the heavy infantry tag. This could be limited to only select civs to prevent civs without Musketeers from getting an equivalent.


Your contributions are interesting, although it’s true that in addition to the concept of “creating a new unit called Line Grenadier”, it’s also necessary to categorize the original Grenadier properly.

While a more coherent idea is to rework the “Line Grenadier” card, I thought there might be another alternative:

What do you think of the idea that when advancing from Age 2 (Commerce Age) to Age 3 (Fortress Age), players could choose a new Politician?

A new Politician (available to all European civilizations) called “Army Reformer” who, besides having a higher cost, would have the option to create and transform Grenadiers into Line Grenadiers (in the barracks), but in exchange, no longer allow the creation of melee infantry (pikemen, halberdiers or Doppelsoldners)

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I’m not sure about adding a politician just to change one unit. Such a unit would have to be really good for it to be worth grabbing, which would really mess up late-game-type games. I’m also not sure about just changing their tag–maybe you have but I haven’t actually met someone who was confused about what grenediers are good against due to their tag. What you seem to be advocating for is basically turning, the base ones at least, into cannons who walk–but I’m not sure what such a unit’s use would be…unless…

You could make them where age 2 they take essentially the role of a cannon, good vs. infantry and buildings, bad vs. all cav. But perhaps age 3, when real cannons come in, their role could switch up some.

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That’s an interesting idea, but I’m not sure if it would be feasible given the roles of the units. You’d basically be giving up two units at a time. For Line Grenadiers to adequately replace melee infantry, they’d have to have their stats radically changed from standard Grenadiers.

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That idea sounds interesting, it could be a rework of “The War Minister”, for example, in a similar way to “The Papal Guard” or “The Logistician”, It could replace archaic units with modern ones, or some other military reform, and this bonus can be available to more civs and depend on each civ, etc.

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I agree it’s pretty clear what the role of Grenadiers is. The problem is that their tags work against that role. They sort of counter rifle infantry, but also get walloped right back by anything affected by CIR. All the Asian style cavalry underperforms against them because their infantry bonus is cancelled out against heavy infantry. Other similar units like Fire Throwers don’t have the heavy infantry tag and are much more consistent in their function.

Adding in a new tag also makes a lot of units more functional and intuitive. There are other siege units that are extremely confusing. Flamethrowers look a lot like artillery so most people would assume Culverins counter them. But they are actually infantry, so Falconets are the real counter.

Units like Huaracas and Arrow Knights are supposed to counter artillery, but being regular infantry makes them a bit too squishy against artillery.

That’s exactly what I’m saying. But the role switching should be locked behind a card so that civs that don’t have Musketeers wouldn’t have an easy equivalent.


Grenadiers should be light infantry like Maltese Fire Throwers, give them 16 range with grenade launchers (make grenade launchers a tech) adjust their stats accordingly and we finally have a unit that isn’t another musketeer and is actually usable.

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Nah keep fire throwers unique. +light infantry is just completely wrong.


if malta weren’t so meh, firethrowers 100 % would be a massive problem unit preciscly because they are “light infantry”.


Hello everyone, I think I may have gone a bit long with this post, so for those of you who are interested in reading it, I recommend listening to this song on repeat while you do :relieved: :ok_hand:

I’m glad to see your comments again. I want to emphasize that it’s not my place to make decisions about the design or rework of units, but I feel that the concept is taking shape thanks to the contributions that everyone has shared.

I believe that the most coherent approach is to separate the concept of the ‘grenadier’ from the ‘line grenadier.’ It’s impossible to attribute two radically different functions to a single unit that changed its role during the AoE 3 timeframe. By removing the role of ‘heavy infantry’ from the standard Grenadier, it can better serve as human artillery. Simultaneously, we can design a ‘Line Grenadier’ as heavy infantry with a specific role.

16th century Grenadier

Swedish early 1700s grenadier exercise

Below I present an interesting historical fragment from this link

In summary it says the following:

During the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Habsburg infantry used pomegranate-sized metal balls filled with gunpowder and shrapnel as grenades. The concept was adopted by the French, leading to the establishment of specialized grenadier companies. Grenadiers served as elite assault troops in sieges and close combat, armed with grenades, swords, or axes. They were selected from the largest and strongest soldiers and offered higher pay, distinctive uniforms, and privileges. However, with the increased firepower of infantry units and muskets, the use of grenades waned, mainly relegated to siege warfare. The tradition of grenadier companies persisted, and by the 19th century, the title ‘grenadier’ had become a badge of honor for certain units, losing its original tactical significance.

I know that for some forum members, it may even seem strange to seek historical information for gameplay mechanics, but from my perspective, AoE 3 can leverage the knowledge gained through trial and error in real battles to organize better gameplay.

Now, I would like to explore the idea of introducing a diplomat called the “Army Reformer” and how it could impact the gameplay of European civilizations if this decision makes the “Line Grenadier” accessible but removes access to melee infantry.

Army Reformer
(Referential portrait)

In Age of Empires 3, Hand Infantry serves as heavy infantry primarily designed to counter melee cavalry and provide mobile siege support. While Hand Infantry had common usage during the 16th and 17th centuries, they gradually disappeared in subsequent centuries. As the game covers a timeframe that could easily accommodate three different RPGs, it becomes challenging to fit units like pikemen or rodeleros into combat against Napoleonic-era musketeers. However, with Age of Empires 3 nearing its 20th anniversary, a complete game rework is unfeasible. Therefore, it falls on the fans to be creative in organizing the game.

Is it possible to choose a politician that disables the creation of Hand Infantry (barracks) without breaking the game?

Personally, I believe it can be done, but it requires substantial modifications:

  • The Grenadier should be replaced by the “Line Grenadier,” taking on the role of heavy infantry with powerful siege damage: The Line Grenadier will be a powerful unit that uses musket and grenades. It will not be as effective in siege or damage against infantry as the standard Grenadier but will have greater durability and effectiveness against infantry and cavalry.(the Line Grenadier will have the automatic ability to “throw grenades against units”)

  • The Musketeer gains the “Charge!” ability (big button): This will make it more effective in pitched battles, especially against cavalry.

Remember that this decision is a personal one, and I don’t want it to feel like “radically changing the game”, what I want is for it to feel like “adding new content.”

The French would lose pikemen and halberdiers, but would gain Line Grenadiers and charging ability for their musketeers. A balanced change without controversy.

The Dutch would lose their valuable Halberdiers, however they would replace their Grenadiers with Line Grenadiers giving them access to an elite type of musketeer (for which they do not have specific cards). A risky choice that only an experienced player would make.

The Portuguese would gain Line Grenadiers (which sounds good considering the Portuguese do not have Grenadiers). However, apart from not having specific cards, they would lose Pikemen and Halberdiers, having to rely on their powerful Dragoons and Legionarios to defend the fragile “Cassador” and “Ordinance Besteiro” from enemy cavalry. It seems like a significant improvement but would greatly increase the costs of their army (especially in coin).

The Swedes already have the Caroleans, who have a charge ability by default. Furthermore, they would lose the Dalkarls and transform their Grenadiers, but they already have the Hakkapelits. So, the configuration of their army could shift towards something more powerful but also more costly, without controversy.

Now let’s look at the civilizations whose choice of “Army Reformer” might be more controversial.

I know that for many, it’s sacrilegious that AoE 3 doesn’t feature Prussian or Austrian Grenadiers, and the Renaissance style of the 16th and 17th centuries may seem incongruous for the Germans. So, the inclusion of this politician for the Germans could be a sort of “reclamation” of German military history in AoE 3. The Germans would lose their Pikemen and powerful Doppelsoldner, but in return, they would gain a Musketeer and Grenadier for the first time. Although this may seem powerful, it can actually be an interesting nerf. The Doppelsoldner (although they lose efficiency from Age 3 onwards) are powerful “meat shields” with area damage ability and a bonus against cavalry. If a German army loses the Doppelsoldner, they will have to rely on the slow War Wagons (as they don’t have Dragoons) to counter cavalry and even depend on mercenaries or use Uhlan against cavalry for cost-effectiveness.

One of the characteristics of the Spanish in AoE 3 is their “archaic units,” and here I believe there could be an interesting exception. By choosing this politician, the Spanish would lose the “Rodelero” but retain the Pikeman, and in return, they would be able to train SOLDADOS in barracks. (The Soldado would be weaker and more versatile than the Line Grenadier, but the Spanish could still use their formidable Tercios; It seems like a fair change to me since the Spanish do not have grenadiers and their musketeers will have the ability to “Charge!”)

Civilizations that probably don’t need to have this new politician:
The British already have too many anti-infantry units (archers, Rangers and good musketeers). Maybe they should replace their current grenadiers with some unique Line Grenadiers cough Black watch cough

Italy and Malta have well-structured and coherent armies as they are. They do not need Line Grenadiers.

Maybe yes, maybe no

I consider that Russia needs a better rework, they currently have the Pavlov Grenadier and I don’t know how they could modify the structure of their army if that unit is replaced by some “Pavlov Line Grenadier”. The historical concept fascinates me but I don’t know how this could affect the gameplay.

To conclude:
I emphasize that these are just my suggestions, but I would also like to hear your opinions, especially from those who find this idea unfeasible.


What if the Grenadier simply had 2 attacks and would automatically switch based on range.
A normal musket attack at long range but them throwing grenades at short range.

Similar to existing units like the Fulani Archer that get stronger at shorter range.

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then what you get is kinda a reverse Peruvian Legion revolutionary

which also fluctuates between busted and useless

Its very hard to use since the opponent can just kite in and out of range to cause animation changes


I think it really needs to be kept simple and easy for anyone to understand. A clear-cut implementation.

Let’s look at their historic role - they were the elite assault troops. They were considered specialist and elite, with the duty of storming enemy fortifications and positions.
Early on they were just the unlucky guys (it wasn’t originally an envied position) chosen to throw grenades however the role progressed to having the strongest, bravest and tallest lead assaults with all those qualities being handy for grenade throwing. These guys would all be armed with muskets, slung behind their back. Gradually they would drop grenades completely, however they were always considered elite infantry and the top guys for assaults.

The in-game role is decidedly different and actually doesn’t fit for them. Their only ranged attack is grenades, they are by default only available at the artillery foundry and whilst they are considered a light and cheap artillery of sorts, they fail at that role. They have always had an ambiguous role since the original game.

If we look at the Merc Giant Grenadiers we can see what Grenadiers should be - strong musketeers with grenade siege.

Grenadiers should be a watered-down version of these. They should be seen as Heavy Infantry first and foremost, with the best infantry siege for the Euro infantry roster, and be accessable via the Barracks by default, rather than the decidedly vague artillery-but-not-artillery unit that is meant to be the cheap siege but still locked up into the artillery foundry, where other units there do a far better job.

With the mindset changed from weird artillery unit to super-musketeers with grenades and then being freely available from the Barracks, along with hefty resource cost, we have then created a proper clear-cut role for them: elite assault infantry that do a damn great job at tearing through enemy buildings at mid-close range and being having the ability to defend themselves with their muskets and bayonets.

They’ll still fall to light infantry and artillery and due to their expense, the humble Musketeer would still be *far more cost effective to field as your general-use units. As an elite unit, even a build limit would be fair game to make them less abused.

Soldados (as much as I hate them) can exist comfortably as a unit that straddles both roles in lieu of Muskets and Grenadiers .

Line Grenadiers shipment - this can always be repurposed into giving the refreshed Grenadiers a grenade-throw auto ability (with a sensible cooldown) when in combat. If you want a bit of historical pizzazz, you can always call it Forlorn Hope. If you still wanted to retain the Line Grenadier shipment name and have a more relevant purpose, you could always make the resulting shipment affect its build limit instead (if we go that route for an elite unit).

Now, if for some reason you want still want a weird peudo artillery/infantry unit in the Artillery Foundry to take that place, but this time with a clear purpose, I give you the Sapper

An engineer unit who uses an axe to deliver melee siege damage. This artillery unit can also build Pallisade Walls (even when Bastion Walls are researched) and Stockades (campaign model art) which function as Castle-like defenses which need to be garrisoned to amp up their firepower). Has a multiplier against artillery (should it be lucky enough to get close to one!).

A low pop and (comparatively) resource cost artillery unit that offers melee siege as well as utility. No other Euro artillery takes this role. Like the Haud’s Ram, it is a human unit tagged solely as a *Siege Unit, so makes it very obvious of what counters it.


  • Grenadiers become essentially the ‘standard’ version of Giant Grenadiers (I mean even while typing that it makes sense - it even shares the name!). Embrace the Heavy Infantry role along with grenade siege. It has obvious counters and function.

  • For those that miss the original Grenadier slot, we have a Sapper who offers the cheap siege unit role, albeit with far clearer purpose which sits alongside other siege units… *rather than doing a little of an existing unit’s role to a much poorer extent.


What if instead of just a normal musketeer, we make it a sort of riffle rider, with multis vs cav and heavy infantry in melee but also a multi vs heavy infantry at range?

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Not sure


  • Having a Grenadier with a musket act like a musketeer is fairly intuitive - musketeer with funny mitre hat and a bag of grenades? I can tell that’s a heavy Infantry ‘shooter’ with a decent siege attack.
  • Having it as a heavy Infantry which is great vs cav and other heavy Infantry at both melee and range makes it a little too powerful plus not as readable. Muskets are your general use ranged attack with the bayonets being the real counter (Caroleans aside).

Harking back to the old RTS ‘Cossacks: European Wars’, everyone had normal, musket-wielding Grenadiers alongside their Musketeers. They shot at range, had bayonets and threw grenades so technically better than Musketeers, however they were far expensive than general troops so it would be ludicrous to have huge armies of them.

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