imho, skirmisher is the worst trash unit among the 3 standard. Hussar is so strong it does even trade very effectively with champions which is not a “trash buster” by any means against them
Halberds are great to cannon fodder in front fo siege, archers, or anithing, and of course demolish cavalry
but skirm? they are great at killing archers, but that’s about it. they have a bonus vs spears, but they cannot perform the rock-paper-scissor triangle in trash wars because spears will always trade efficiently when closing the distance thanks to minimum range, making them the worst in trash fights since
imho, having the minimum range mechanic, they should be more deadly at range to at least use that little window of time in which spears try to close the distance. that way they would trade better and would be an actual counter in the trash fights.
— my proposition is maybe hard to implement, but atm skirms is the only standard unit to not have an imperial age upgrade. so why not just create an upgrade for imperial age with a specific look at trash-fights and spears? that way they effectiveness against archers would be the same, while getting better against spears.
the vietnamese could then just be compensated with a different team bonus. they already have anty-archer prowess anyway
— another possibility is just to make a hidden increase in imperial age for skirmisher increasing their bonus vs spear line a bit (from +3 to +5 maybe)
or any other little tweaks to make them able to properly hard counter spears the same way they get countered by hussar and hussar get countered by halbs
On itself the skirm is a bad unit.
But in feudal it counters the strongest unit - archers.
In castle it counters one of the most common unit combos: xbow + pike.
That’s why some people think it would be a good unit as they counter their “unit of choice”. It’s just one of the common misconceptions. Skirm only see so much play because the unit and unit comps they counter are so insanely strong. Not because the skirm itself would be so strong.
Also skirms actually have only the same dps/cost as archers vs archers. A “counter” that actually kills the countered units only as fast as they kill themselves…
Another thing to mention is that skirms “counter” skirms. So often the archer player opts in just adding skirms to his archers than making a tech switch. That doesn’t means that skirms are too strong, it only means that the tech switch costs too much and time - there is a risk involved. If you think you can beat the other skirm player with micro you don’t need to take that risk.
Only because a unit sees a lot of play doesn’t mean it is necessarily a “good unit”. If it’s actually a bad counter unit it sees much more play because if it’s not so good in it’s job the unit it shall counter becomes more appealing and is played more. Because the unit it shall counter sees more play, the counter sees also more play - actually because it’s not so good.
And especially in trash wars (outside meso trash) skirms are by far the worst unit. As they kill halbs so slowly the halb becomes the natural “bulk” of trash wars. In trash wars the most important thing is to hold position and therefore you want the bulk of your army that unit that is killed the slowest. Ofc you need all 3 trash units, but the optimal amounts are about 50 % halb (bulk), 30 % skirm (counter), 20 % hussar (counter-counter and possible raiders). The skirm again has not the lowest participation here because it’s the worst unit. That means that halbs are the best units here and to counter the halbs you need to have also more skirms. Sounds unlogical, but is actually commonly known among game theory.
I have to say that the thing that always bothered me with skirms compared to archers is that skirms have minimum range and archers do not. If you compare that to a ‘real’ situation too then you would have to imagine that an archer should also have a minimum range. And it is what players who prefer cavalry civs struggle with against archer players, since you normally ‘have’ to make skirms in fuedal age. And if the archer player has good micro they can just stay within minimum range of low skirm numbers and still win. But in general the balance with skirms is fine.
mayans skirm deal only 1 damage over the regular one…
also, i haven’t sayd they are a bad unit per se, just they are the worst trash unit for a trash fight, thus why i proposed a change to impact only imperial age
and again, they are the sole unit without an imperial updrage, making them less efefctive after castle age.
i’m well aware that they are good in both feudal and castle, no problem in that, the problem is that they suck in trash fight because they are not an effective counter to halbs, breaking the rock-paper-scissor triangle
Aztecs or Vietnamese Skirms perform even better against cavalry (higher accuracy). But Mayan skirms are better against rams.
Ofc there are some skirms that are quite strong like the mentioned:
Vietnamese, Byz, Koreans, Mayans, Aztecs, Lith, Incas and Britons
Still, none of them is as powerful as the various strong lategame light cav units we have. The bonusses to skirms are way bigger, yet the light cavs with bonusses are way more dominant in the lategame:
Magyars, Berbers, Lithuanians, Sicilians, Turks, (Mongols), Tatars…
You see Devs had been quite careful with not overbuffing the hussar line, still bonusses to light cav are way more important than to the skirms even if they are minor.
the point of the rock-paper-scissor trangle is that a unit should counter another pretty clearly, without the strict need of another one assisting. Hussar counter skirms heavily, without any help. Halbs counter hussar heavily, without any help.
and again, we all know skirms are a good unit until early imperial, but post imp, they just suck against halberdiers with minimum range and a limited bonus. the bonus should be +5, or simply, the unit should have an imperial upgrade, like any other unit in this game