Rods as shock infantry, Lancers as anti cav

With the last changes to Cheyenne riders, I kept wondering what medieval feeling it gave me to see a lancer charging into another horse rider, and how strange it was to see it only with a american native unit, considering jousts were a pretty big thing in Europe. One of the few archaic type units that fits the jousting rider it’s the Spanish Lancer, which in fact gets the Caballeros card (Jousts consisted mostly of Knights and high ranked combatants), but something about it feels weird about them, considering it has more historical sense for Lancers to be a unit similar to the Cheyennes ingame, than a anti-infantry unit.

That role should belong to the Rodelero, a warrior covered in armor, shield and sword, which acted as a disruptor between foot soldiers, specifically pike formations, due to they armor and versatility. That type of unit translates into a shock infantry unit very well. Something similar to the Tiger Claw.

When the Spanish adopted the colunella (the first of the mixed pike and shot formations), they used small groups of sword and buckler men to break the deadlock of the push of pike… They were also very vulnerable to attack by cavalry while halberdiers were not.


In reality lancers are charge units. If they can perform a powerful charge they decimate everything. So either infantry counter or cavalry counter is a forced role in an RTS because of limited capacities in the mechanics.
Now that there are “charged” abilities I’d say a more realistic lancer should have lower base damage with no specific counters but a very high “charged” charge attack.

Rodeleros seem to be leftovers of an originally designed “swordsman” class which got merged into melee counter cavalry. Because Spanish in game relies on them a lot, it’s a bit dangerous to overhaul it (unlike pirates which no one uses).
Realistically because those units are assigned to break pike lines, I’d make them a melee skirmisher like urumi.

Urumi should have transitioned to the Shock Infantry tag way before. Having melee like-skirms is just overcomplicated and twisted. Just like Tiger claws were Heay Infantry with ranged resistance and anti-inf multipliers.

Besides, 18 years have passed since the release of Legacy civs, I think we can move on from that Swordsman legend. The only thing rods are good for (melee armor and chasing cav) are the most historically wrong, and I mean it because DE was supposed to give us a more accurate and representative version of the game.
Also Spanish pikemen are being buff in the PUP, so maybe we can relieve the Rodelero from its duties in the future.


tiger claws were not heavy infantry, they were just infantry

now the lancers compensate in some way for the absence of art bonus of Spanish. Rodeleros compete with tercios, musk, and dragoons as anti cav, buy like lancer they work really well like charge unit vs masses of heavy cav o range cav units.

The Spanish lancers are not based on the medieval jousting knights, they are based on the unit that was used in the war of independence against the French due to the little military weaponry that Spain had at that time.

If they were going to make its in game role reflect its real life role, Rodeleros should function more like JPK and have a bonus versus heavy infantry. But that’s not very necessary when they have Lancers that are good against all infantry.


It would be an excessive change, but I would have loved if the composition of the Spanish army was based mainly on an “archaic” army of “tercios” pikes (counter cav), rods and arquebuisers (counter inf).

The historical role of the rodeleros was to sneak between the enemy pikes and win easily in short distances.

Rods and pikes are star units in Spain, it’s a shame that they play the same role as counter cav.

Plus with so many new unit types, there are several options:

  • Rods as shock infantry.

  • Rods as heavy inf but counter heavy inf.

  • Rods as light inf but counter heavy inf.

But the old players’ heads will explode if now the rods win against inf and lose vs cav

If you played AoM with greek prodromos it’s logic to think that spanish lancers are counter cav :stuck_out_tongue:


Lancers should ideally be ‘anti-everything’. Spanish lancers historically were all the up there with Gendarmes, Winged Hussars, Sipahi (the relevant ones) and Mamelukes as one of the big boy heavy cav armies that could just smash through everything till guns become too OP.

In that sense it would be more fitting to just give them an all round stat buff. The current focus vs infantry makes more sense for Polish/Lithuanian Hussars - they their lances hollow for extra length without adding weight to counter spear/pike formations. Conquistador heavy cav was alo like Gendarmes.

In short I’m all down to remodel Spain. That being said, I’m not sure about the suggested changes.

Lancer/Rod works to cover each other weakness - lancers can actually take on heavy infantry and are still effective vs light ing and artillery just for being heavy cav. The soft counter is regular heavy cav since those can fight lancers and light cav for obvious reasons. Enter the rodelero, pretty lame overall, but good for running down light cav and supporting lancers vs huss.

Now, if lancers become anti cav specialists and rodels become shock infantry then your entire comp loses to monocomp musks. The End.

The design change here has gotta be a bit more complicated


@HaleTortoise579 Lancers with charge attack counter-all and weak in a continuous fight would be more realistic. But I dislike so much complexity.

It would transform only the rods.

If they become a counter light inf, Spain would become a fearsome cac army with lancers (vs heavy inf), rods (vs light inf) and pikes (vs cav) sweeping everything head-on and with fast units…

They would lose vs goons hit and run, and then they would be forced to use skirms.

If they morphed into some kind of generic unit like musks, I imagine they’d be too effective in small fights when trapping, and ineffective in large numbers due to routing issues. It sounds to me that at the beginning of the game they were like that and they were op. The spanish rush in 1vs1 was fearsome.

if they had range resistance?

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Some historians deny the theory that the rods slipped between the pikes, they say that it was impossible to break them. And if they were used, it was at the beginning of the tercios.

Where they were used was in America and I appreciate that they represented them in the game but I think they never should have. Its function is historically incorrect and the pikes are already there. I also think they did it that way so that Spain would have the lancer/rod combo.

The best thing from the beginning would have been to replace the rods with arquebusiers in the game.

This has always hurt me because it was the perfect game to do it, I can only trust aoe4…


Lancers with charge attack counter-all and weak in a continuous fight would be more realistic. But I dislike so much complexity.

Fun fact; that is exactly what the winged hussars were.

For the rest; focusing on the rodelero for changes is prolly the best route, yea.

I’d think a complete revamp might be due. Consider

50 food, 25 gold

150 HP
30% melee resist 10% range resist
6 speed
16 damage, 1.25 attack rate

x2 vs hand infantry
x2 vs heavy infantry
x2 vs light cavalry/ranged shock infantry
x0.5 vs ranged infantry
x0.5 vs heavy cavalry

Shield wall - cover mode grants only 20% range/siege resistance but reduces speed by 20%. Does not reduce attack.

The idea here is to make them what they were - pike square dismantlers. Since that means very little in the game I expanded that to mean anti cav killers - then added their status as a medievalesque troop by making them good at fighting in melee against renaissance infantry, but also getting countered by guns and heavy cav due to being dedicated swordsmen.

This idea leaves them able to counter pikes and halbs very hard, counter melee shock infantry, soft counter musks, and be kindoff a threat to light cav. The negative multiplier is make sure that they cant hard counter musk and that skirms can actually beat them.

The obvious weakness is cavalry - they have the stats to drag a fight but they should lose with even numbers/pop, but it’s intentional that they can counter hand shock infantry. Play into that whole, ‘conquered the meso americans’ trope a bit.

The ultimate goal is to make a unit that can enable huss vs heavy inf as opposed to just lancers, or add enough durability to help lancers stand up to hand cav.

Pikes nowadays are getting more buffs, and have more versatility due to their range increased, while rods only function is to tank melee dmg and catch some cav, since they do similar dmg on melee like any other musketeer. around 35dmg. Why would you even consider to train pikes when you have rods, you clearly have two choices, and one is more viable than the other.

That’s why I don’t see a problem reworking the Rodelero, perhaps with a lower cav multiplier and other similar to the JPK would make a bit more sense, but considering they are a fast moving unit, that charges into enemy formations, that sounds really a lot like “Shock” Infantry to me.

Also, considering Spanish army relies heavily on melee units and melee unit shipments, the formula is still intact. They’ll still be weak to ranged armies, and hit & run tactics.

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Pikes might be overall a smarter choice most of the time, but rods have their uses too, even with all the buffs pikemen are still quite frail but rods are tough speedy infantry but beeifit from card upgrades.

And between lancers and Hussars they’re covered no shock infantry needed. Rather Lancers are great at charging infantry and Hussars which share upgrade cards can melee cavalry and they have dragoons too.

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It should be like this…Arrived at fortresses age, you can change the rodeleros for halberdiers…