Serjeants. Yes or Nay?

HI! i bought the Sicilians DLC a while ago and i still havent’ figured out if Serjeants are worth investing into or not.

They are indeed a tankyer militia-line, but also much more expensive, costing about 50% more after supplies, and their elitè upgrade cost a ton, the same as the whole upgrade from militia to champion

in Feudal, they are stronger than MAA for sure, but they appear much later since you need a Donjon to get them, so you lose the momentum to get raw defensive stats, and a bigger cost. Donjon is also not an incredibly strong building to begin with to justify rush into them and sacrify economy or military, especially when you could simply go scouts for sicilians

In Castle they get a power spike and that’s clear, but their “free” upgrade is more than covered by the elitè upgrade in terms of cost. They also do not fare astonishingly good for their cost from the tests i did, being much less cost effective than longswords in melee with 1 less attack. they do tank arrows much better of course, but they also cost 15F and 15G more. And it’s not like malians militia with same PA is seen all the time, while having more attack up to Imp and same attack in post imp, and much cheaper cost

they save the upgrade cost from militia to longswords, but remember that you’ll pay a premium later with the elitè upgrade so in the end the cost will be even. For example, 20 longsword accounting to all upgrades (MAA, Longsword, Supplies) are equally expensive as 19 serjeants, which will beat those longswords not by much, and from that moment on the longsword will be more efficient, because 25 LS are equally costly as 22 Serjeants, which will lose that fight and also trade more efficiently against building, eagles, knights and pretty much all except arrows of course. This is not taking into account you need donjons and not barracks, which is a disadvantage as well.
The ability to build and repair donjon is nice of course, but in general seems to overpay a bit for those advantages, at least in my opinion thus far, especially since you could simply go KTS here for Sicilians.

In Imp they seem solid on paper, but keep the same drawbacks of low damage and speed and high cost making any melee trade not great. They can act as a damage sponge, but why would i use a 95 resources unit with 35 gold and 1900 upgrade cost as meatshield?

overall, they are the second most expensive infantry UU second only to TK, while still having same speed as militia, and the most expensive elitè upgrade of all the infantry pack.

So it’s not clear to me wether they are good to use or weak, and i’m conflicted cause i love the unit design but the speed and the cost does not help at all and i would want to hear some opinions on their balance state and, if they are bad, how to improve them or, if they are good, how to use them effectively, and in what army composition?


P.S: to me a good change would be to buff tankiness even more in feudal and castle, adding 5 HP (so 50 and 70 respectively) and keeping Elitè as is, while lowering the elitè upgrade a bit to 1000F 700G. that way you could offset the momentum loss in feudal with a really chonky unit justifing a feudal aggression, in castle they would be tankier with still the drawback of high cost and low speed, while elitè would remain same just a bit cheaper since 1900 atm is one of the most expensive elitè upgrades in the game.

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the answer is as always, it depends on the situation. the fact that they are incredibly tanky means they have much better odds of closing the gap with archers over the standard infantry line, and they are in general more supply efficient over the militia line as well. This leads to clear cut situations where you want to use one, and other situations where you might prefer the other. I honestly think the upgrade cost could be lowered slightly (1000 food, 650 gold seems reasonable), but due to First Crusade existing, i don’t think it should be lowered much.


yeah i suggested 1000F 700G exactly for that matter, that way the cost would be 1700 which is high but, reasonable at least. 650G would be better i guess but still fine.

What you mean they are more supply efficient?

also yes i know it depends on the situation but i was curious to know what those situations are and what unit compos could work for them

The sad part is that sicilians does not have any bonus for infantry besides the -50% bonus which has very limited impact for their militia anyway, so they feel absolutely generic and feel like a missed opportunity to get miliia over serjeants, since others infantry civs at least have something going for them to make them cool and unique (like teutons MA, vikings HP…) and other UU for infantry, like Zerks, are almost always better than militia in comparison

They’re basically like huskarls who have traded some of their archer effectiveness for greater melee resistance.
It’s a decent in melee fights if you compare it to swordmen, but it’s better suited for dealing with archers.
I wouldn’t use it alone though, you have to use its tankiness to help your other units.
Like having serjeants tank damage while your weaker trash units deal their bonus damage.
With the Sicilians getting their extra pierce armour cavalier, the serjeant is not the go to choice for an anti-archer unit these days.
Sicilian cavaliers are still countered by halbs while serjeants will need some kind of stronger gold unit to counter them, so it’s not like they’re redundant or anything.
Serje+halb+some siege is a lot stronger than Sicilian cavalier in many scenarios.

Their stats might not look that sexy but they’re one of the best infantry UUs in the game imo and excuses to make them will come up more often than other infantry UUs.

it’s simple. 10 supply of serjeants are going to do more work then 10 supply of militia in most cases. supply for supply they are more valuable.

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oooh you mean population efficient, yes.

anyway my problem is that i tend to play sicilians as full-scout, scout into KTS, and such, basically similar to any other cav civ, which seems much simpler and effective to me, and i struggle to see serjeants potential especially compared to something like zerks which are also cheaper to produce…not to mention the obuch

so i would like to know if they simply are ineffective and could use a bit of help, or there is a way to use them besides silly all-in FC First crusade shenanigans

but serjeants have much more staying power then either of those, not to mention the aforementioned first crusade.

they are especially effective when you hit about mid imp and you need to start worrying about your gold. get them researched and all upgrades, make sure you have some siege ready to go, hit first crusade, and then follow it up with more serjeants as you free up supply.
Yeah knights/cavaliers are great, but at some point gold is going to become a concern.

yeah but i don’t like the idea of using a 95 res unit, with 35 being gold, as a meatshield. seems like a massive waste. and maybe i’m wrong, but i do not think that combo would do THAT much better than mere champions+halbs +siege for the cost

to help your cavalier against spears, you still have almost FU elitè skirmisher, which are not great, but at least are much cheaper, no?

meh, obuch has massive HP and decent armor as well. they are tankier in some cases, and zerks have speed and regeneration, so not sure if they really have less staying power

so basically they are effective in the same situations where a champion is effective, but more pop efficient and less cost efficient. that does sound a bit lame to me for an infantry civ UU…

If it’s team game arabia or something, then yeah of course it’s going to be unlikely that you use it.
It depends on the map and the situation, you should know when you want to use it really.
If you know when you should be using Malian champions, then you would know when you want to be using serjeants.

Well I said what I had to say.
If you don’t like the unit and don’t see value in it, then you don’t have to use it.
I like the unit and I’ll continue to use it.

I use them when I play Castle pushes on Arena.

i mean everything is going to have situations where one is better then the other. and basically your complaint could be said to be true of pretty much every unique unit (heck most cavalry uu have to deal with competing with the knight line which leaves those uu in question super niche). some have situations where they are more pop/supply efficient and some have situations where they are more cost effective, etc. it all depends on the where and when.

they also have first crusade situation, and building repairing donjons, which are all situations to use them.

exactly, the unit has situational use and excels in those situations.

Yeah, the obuch is better than the serjeant.
So is the kamayuk.
Arguably beserk, although it’ll die a lot faster to typical anti-infantry units than the serjeant.
Not all UUs are created equally strong.
Their quality fits into their tech tree.
Poles don’t have halbs, so they end up having to use the obuch as an their best anti-cavalry unit.
Incas don’t have any kind of cavalry whatsoever, so it’s not very shocking that they have a good infantry UU to compensate.
Vikings have one the most barren tech trees in the game, with the worst cavalry in the game.

So to keep comparing the serjeant to other infantry UUs and to say “oh it’s not as good as them” is entirely missing the point of why there are different civs.

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exactly. the sicilians have a very broad tech tree without much in the way of clear weaknesses, thus a UU that isn’t “as good”.
meanwhile the incas, poles and vikings have very narrow tech trees and thus their uu is designed more to shine.

not every unique unit gets to be an obuch or mangudai or camel archer. I’d still list serjeant as one of the better infantry uu in the game.

Serjeants are a bit of a luxury unit as their 60f 35g cost is a bit high compared to, say, Champions. Still, even though you get lower attack than Champion-line, the increased armor more than compensates for this and you can safely say that the unit is better than a Champion. The 60f compared to the 45f of a Supplies Champion is not a huge deal because if you make Serjeants in Castle Age, it will be via First Crusade, and in Imperial Age food is not an issue. The 35g cost means they are a bit of a luxury unit, but I would say they complement the Sicilians late game composition very well, because they counter Halberdiers (which are a counter to Hauberk Cavalier) and to a degree ranged units and buildings also. Sicilians economy is also very strong from Castle Age onward, due to better Farms and the +100 stone, and Sicilians late game is one of the best in the game.

Overall, this means that, while in a vacuum, Serjeants could use -5/-10g discount to feel like a nice unit, in practice Sicilians is already a top tier civ and it doesn’t need further buffs. A buff to Serjeants should be accompanied by a nerf elsewhere.

Main issue fighting vs Sicilians right now is that

  1. their boom in Castle Age is better than average due to extra 100 stone and far better farms (not needing to reseed them as often saves you a lot of wood that you can use for more farms or production buildings)

  2. their Knight/Cavalier is resistant to Pikemen, Camels, leaving Monks as the only counter in Castle Age. In Imp, they just have no counter outside of maybe mass Heavy Camel by a Camel civ. If this was the “power unit” of Sicilians, I would be fine, but then they have:

  3. Pikeman more resilient to bonus dmg from Skirms: a common complement to aggressive Knight play is Skirmishers, currently Sicilians can go full Pikeman more or less and don’t really need to add a secondary unit vs enemy Skirmishers, or at least not as fast.

  4. Sicilians have one of the best Skirmishers in the game, next to Byzantines, Lithuanians, Vietnamese, and Aztecs. Why you might ask? Well, in case of 2 players booming with minimal army on each side, Skirmisher is a common choice in Castle Age, and here the reduced bonus dmg Sicilians take help them trade cost-efficiently vs enemy Skirms. They even outtrade Byzantines resource-wise.

In Imperial Age, when Gold is scarce, Pike + Skirm by Sicilians is a very good composition because vs enemy Pike + Skirm + Hussar play, every Sicilian unit takes reduced bonus dmg from Skirms, leaving them with an edge in trash wars.

  1. Sicilian Light Cav has insane raiding potential: similar consideration to Skirmishers, Sicilian Light cav raiding takes more hits to kill, so is able to down more villagers before being killed.

At the same time, the civ has a very good Arbalest, Supplies FU Champion, FU Siege Workshop with Siege Engineers, FU Halberdier and good navy.

To top it off, a Sicilians player forwarding you with a Castle drop is NOT possible to deny because the Castle is built so fast that no matter how well you scout or how fast you react, the Castle always goes up. Rewarding bad play essentially.

So in short: yes Serjeant could use a slight buff as an individual unit, but Sicilians as a civilization need nerfs to their army composition/wide tech tree. Losing Siege Engineers or Arbalest upgrade could be good starts (risks turning them into a similar version of Bulgarians but rly Sicilians have too much in terms of tech tree).


They’re trash imho.
With Hauberk Cavalier and perfectly functional halb+siege I honestly see zero reason to ever use them.
They suck against other infantry civs, against archers they’re too slow, plus Sicilians have almost full siege and again, Hauberk Cavaliers.
They’re so trashy that need a special tech to “train” them for a fraction of their cost, otherwise nobody would even dare to train them the regular way.
Totally useless UU, a wasted slot. First Crusade and Serjeants are hot garbage, worthy of being scrapped from the game.

Maybe 1v1.
In team games, quite the opposite.
No Paladins, no gunpowder, no FU arbs or HCAs, no Hussars, no Camels.
Sicilians are quite bad in team games if the game goes to the point where opposing pockets have Paladins or Battle Elephants.

never i sayd i don’t like the unit, i merely said i do not like to use a 95 resources unit costing 35 gold as a meatshiled while i can use halberdiers for that. those are two different things. i very much like serjeans and enjoy playing them, i just struggle to find them cost effective

again, there is a different in sayng “unit X is not as strong as unit Y” and “unit X is trash”… nowhere i sayd serjeants are trash. don’t get why you are assuming that simply because i asked if they are decent and how to use them effectively.

Don’t use them, they’re not decent, they’re wasted gold.
Go halb+arb+siege or halb+siege or cavalier+halb (+some light cavalry to raid). If you have the gold for both FU Cavalier AND FU Elite Serjeant, then you’ve already won.
In team games you’d better go halb+siege or full Cavalier, slow infantry is useless, expecially slow infantry that costs 95 resources.

Once in a while you might be able to do some gimmicky Donjon rush, but that’s hardly worth it, and rarely works.