Standardizing weaponry and unit roles

Over the course of AOE3 development, we had some originally separate unit types that got merged, units that are forced into another role, etc. And now as some of those scrapped designs got “revived”, it leads to a few inconsistencies.
Both old and new units should follow some matching rule between weaponry and roles.

Strelet: this unit has same the animation as a musketeer without bayonets (because it was originally designed as such). It is the only exception to the skirmisher class. There are now three poses for gunpowder skirmishers: the common one, the “irregular or American” one, and the “European outlaw” one. It should get one of these.

Harquebusier and mounted rifle: there are pistol heavy cav and pistol light cav. There are also carbine heavy cav and carbine light cav. And they all have similar poses. I’d suggest giving a different animation for the two ranged heavy cavs, like carrying the sword by default and only switch to the ranged weapon when attacking, instead of having the same pose as the dragoon/ruyter. Or even make the ranged attack a charged one like the Oromo. The two units are pretty niche anyway so it shouldn’t be drastic.

Pistol infantry: their melee and ranged animations are not that different (similar to war wagon), so maybe they should have a ranged multiplier against cav as well (also similar to war wagon).

Barbary corsair: this unit has identical animations as the pirate. So it should be a shock infantry as pirates.

------- Drastic and unrealistic change suggestions below this line --------
Rodelero: this is going to be difficult. I’d like rodelero to get a small anti-infantry bonus, either as a shock infantry like the shotel warrior, or as a heavy infantry like the JRK , but it would totally overhaul Spain gameplay-wise.

Urumi: similarly, it could get the same treatment as the rodelero mentioned above. It is the only melee skirmisher so far and I don’t think there is anything about its look or its lore makes it a melee skirmisher

My ideal assignment of weaponry roles is:
Musket with bayonet (carried on shoulder) & javelin (tomahawk counts as this): melee anti-cav
Bolas and equivalent: ranged anti-cav
Musket without bayonet (carried on shoulder, usually with a sword): melee anti-cav, but lower multiplier and higher base melee
Pistol: ranged anti-cav
Other firearms (carried with other poses): skirmisher (anti-skirmisher should have their distinct pose from regular skirmishers)
Other ranged weapons: skirmisher
Sword with or without shield: fast melee raider (shock infantry or heavy infantry, but choose only one type for all such units)
Polearm: melee anti-cav (two-handed sword also belongs here)
Exception being Native Americans because they need their “cavalry”, so their units could remain. However I’d suggest giving slings a unified role not a skirmisher for Aztecs and a culverin for Incas.

Pistol: ranged heavy cavalry (but ruyter and black rider exist, so it’s hard to change)
Other ranged weapons: ranged anti-cav
Lance: melee but with a charge ability and/or anti-infantry bonus
Other melee weapons: standard heavy cavalry

This should make the unit roles clearer. Though some may be too late to change.


I like the idea of making the pistol heavy infantry switch to be ranged anti-cav instead of melee anti-cav. They don’t have bayonets so it doesn’t really make sense to give them a good melee multiplier.

I think the massively confusing mess of ranged heavy cavalry and counter skirmishers could be solved by making most of them dismounting units.

Harquebusiers could probably just get a charged attack like Oromos and be more of a standard heavy cav. They are a bit of an under the radar OP unit with their insanely high attack.

I feel it is the result of the extremely streamlined unit designs of vanilla (just like how rodelero become a cavalry counter). Almost all units fall in the same few categories and get the same set of bonuses.
But now far more diversities have been introduced and they could be adjusted as so, to make it actually more intuitive than a pistol behaving the same as a bayonet.

I’d also make the bold suggestion that ranged infantry that do not change animations in melee (pistol ones only) have the same trait as ranged cavalry, i.e. always fix to ranged by default even at close range unless toggled.

Counter-skirmisher seems to me as a failed design. None of the units are useful. They don’t fill in any unit role. Just make some of them regular skirmishers but a slightly different stats to effectively become a “pseudo counter skirmisher”.

And I have a feeling “mounted rifleman” (chasseur) should have been a dismounting unit like highwayman, as we don’t have a dismountable mercenary and they gave this odd name to the unit. Then it should make more sense.

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I’ve been thinking the same thing for a while, Counter-Skirmisher should be like Skirmishers but with a slightly lower bonus against heavy infantry and light cavalry, in exchange for having a bonus against Skirmishers. The current design doesn’t make much sense from a historical perspective, for example the Pandours were famous as Skirmishers, not Counter-Skirmishers.

I would like the devs to rework the Rodeleros to be Shock Infantry, this way they would not have the same role as the Pikemen and thus most units that use shields would be Shock Infantry (Like Coyote Runners, Chimu Runners and Rattan Shields), which would be nice in terms of clarity, but I have a feeling this move would be very unpopular. Maybe the Rodeleros can be Shock Infantry but with less base damage than others in exchange for having a small bonus against heavy cavalry, but anyway, a change like this would have to be well thought out to be successful.

I think infantry using pistols (Pistolero etc.) should be like Zouaves, with a good ranged attack but no bonuses against cavalry in melee.