The Need-To-Know Guide to Countering All the Funky New DE Units

original post here, best format imo: The Need-To-Know Guide to Countering All the Funky New DE Units - ESOCommunity

DE has brought a wealth of new units and with it, a whole lot of confusion. I’ve been meaning to research these units to make sure I know how to counter them, and I thought I would share my research with the community. Here, I’ve tried to describe all these new units in plain laymans terms, and give a sense of how they actually are used in games, and how to best counter them. The aim is not to get bogged down in stats, but to describe how it feels to play against the unit in game, and counter it effectively. This is a guide mainly meant to help players who feel frustrated because they lose to these new civs mostly because they lack game knowledge. Some things may be incorrect or incomplete due to my own gaps in knowledge, so I encourage feedback to make this guide as good as it can be!

Caroleans - A relatively weak musketeer unit. The only musket that you don’t pop into melee mode in order to counter cav, since they counter cav at range. Their melee mode does counter other heavy infantry though, so you can experiment with that. Their charge ability forces them into melee mode for a brief time. Normally they have melee resist but in age 4, Svea Lifeguard makes their resistance change from melee to ranged, meaning they can hold their own against skirms. Recommend countering them with artillery in late game, otherwise skirms do just fine. They also seem vulnerable to cavalry more than other muskets.
Hakkapellits - 20% ranged resist. Their default mode is a very short ranged attack, which does 2x vs pets (! rip spain) and hand shock infantry like coyote, but not vs normal hand cav. It also has a slight area of effect. So they appear sort of like a dragoon but in fact their are not a dragoon at all and don’t have a multiplier vs cav. Their melee attack is high, with 48 damage in age 3 with no multipliers. In this sense they are sort of like a meteor hammer, having the same range with their ranged attack as a meteor hammers melee. Definitely want to counter these with dragoons, dont let them get into melee for sure. ranged attack will trade well vs. muskets or heavy infantry too.

Inca has some familiar units that I think most people are used to by now: jungle bowmen, plumed spearmen, and chimu runners are all relatively straightforward, as archers, pikes, and shock infantry style cav units, like coyote runners. Inca gets confusing for a lot of players to counter once they get into the later ages though, and start spamming these units:
Bolas Warrior- It basically functions like a spammable Incan musketeer, with a short ranged attack that also snares enemy units at range (I think, unless this was removed?). 20% ranged resist. Has a slight multiplier vs. ranged cav, and a 2x multiplier against heavy cav. Does only 2/3rds base damage to all infantry units. Best way to counter is with skirmisher or artillery. Not sure how muskets trade vs. these, but I think they do pretty well.
Huaraca- Long ranged unit that sort of functions like an abus gun with better siege. 30% ranged resist. Does 40 siege damage at 20 range. Has a .50 negative bonus vs all cav and villagers, but no other multipliers. So it’s good vs buildings, good vs. artillery, and good vs infantry units. Pretty strong. Best way to counter these is with hand cavalry I think, or anything that does melee damage. They trade fairly even vs. falconets as well but good luck picking them out in an Inca mass.
Maceman - just a big ■■■■■■ skull knight, no one really uses them. just counter them with skirms or artillery.

All new units. Some fill familiar niches, like state militia (beefcake strelets), regulars (muskets) sharpshooters (skirms, with 40% ranged resist though!) and carbine cav (dragoons). But there are the outlaw units from the tavern that confused me for a while:
Cowboy - a dragoon style outlaw unit, with a charged ability that dramatically increases range and damage for a single shot. can be upgraded to get this charged attack more often, which is what can make these units really strong and annoying to deal with. Counter with skirms or ideally, dragoons, since you will often need to chase these guys down as people like to run you around with them.
Gunslinger - Outlaw unit that functions like a musketeer, in that it has 3x against cavalry in melee mode. Has ranged resistance. Also has a charged attack that gives the ranged attack 3x damage bonus. Counter with skirmishers / artillery.
Owlhoot - Dressed in back, looks like an outlaw rifleman. Basically a skirmisher-type unit with an area of effect ranged attack. Has ranged resistance. Weirdly also has melee mode multipliers against heavy infantry and ranged cav. The area of effect ranged attack is much shorter range so its best to not let these get close.

Loads of new units. These are just the ones that are specific to Hausa. See the Shared African Units section for more.

Unique War Camp Units: -
Fulani archer - basic archer type unit, multipliers vs. heavy inf and ranged cav. counter with art/hand cav.
Lifidi Knights - hand cav with high hp, 15% melee resistance PLUS 30% ranged resistance, and no multipliers at all, just 25 hand damage. Weird. Counter like a normal hand cav though, with goons or heavy infantry.
Raider - Pretty much a steppe rider. Good against vills, decent siege, decent against light infantry, low hp. Counter with normal anti cav.

Unique Palace Unit:
Maigadi - Strong heavy infantry unit, with high hp and attack in both range and melee. Has about the range of a dragoon or musket. 1.5 bonus against mercenaries, so can be used as a merc counter like a spy. Otherwise no multipliers. 20% ranged resist too. Counter with artillery or skirms. This is what Hausa get in the slot where Ethiopia gets the more well-known Big Boy Mortar.

Unique Native Units - Hausa get West African native units (Yoruba, Berber, Akan) from certain age ups, as well as the British (heavy cannon) and Arabs (gatling camels, see merc section).
Berber Nomad (ally with Berbers) - settler, good at gathering natural resources.
Berber Camel Rider (ally with Berbers) - a melee dragoon, with multipliers vs. hand cavalry, and melee resistance. Counter with skirms like any other dragoon.
Yoruba Oyo Legionary (ally with Yoruba) - a musketeer unit, strong against hand cav, but slow and tanky in general. counter with skirms/art
Yoruba Eso Rider (ally with Yoruba) - Hand cav, with 50% melee resist, 50% ranged resist. High attack, low multipliers. Health decays over time so try to avoid fighting them as long as possible. Counter with goons or heavy infantry.
Akan Ankobias (ally with Akan) - basic musketeer unit but with a slight area of effect attack at range. With melee resist. Counter with skirm/art, stagger mode vs. a lot of them.

Finally, there’s the griot, which is trained from the university. It’s a tanky unit that can speed building construction or slow enemy attack, I believe. Very pesky. Note that in addition to all these units listed above, Hausa can also train normal mercs and many types of European cannons.

Get ready because there’s a whole slew of Ethiopian units as well. See the Shared African Units section for more units that Ethiopia can get.

Unique War Camp Units:
Shotel Warrior - shock infantry unit, like a coyote runner. 1.25 multiplier vs. all infantry. counter with heavy infantry or goons.
Oromo Warrior - weird cav unit. Similar to a hakkapelit / harquebusier, but with longer range. Ranged resist, high ranged and melee attacks, no multipliers. Kinda works like a dragoon? Probably also really strong as just a hand cav. Very expensive though. Counter with dragoons, dont let it hit you in melee.
Gascenya - Musketeer unit, often the core of Ethiopian armies. Counter with skirm/art.
Neftenya - basic skirm unit. counter with hand cav / art.

Unique Palace Unit:
Sebastopol Mortar - the big boy. Incredible siege damage, strong against infantry and buildings. Negative multiplier vs. other artillery. Counter with your own artillery, or cav.

Unique Native Units - Ethiopia gets access to East African native units (Somali and Sudanese) as well as the Portuguese cannoneer, and Indian mahouts/howdahs, as well as the Arab gatling camels (see the merc section). These East African natives are some of the trippier units in the game, that people just die to bc they dont know what they are.
Sudanese Dervish - Basically a ranged melee urumi without the area of effect. Deals melee damage at range and in hand attack. Attacks faster the closer you are to it. Very annoying and weird unit to counter. Melee at range is trippy. Counter with artillery or hand cav.
Somali Darood - Kind of an Arrow Knight/Huaraca unit. I think these maybe haven’t yet been tried out to their true potential yet. 25 range! High siege damage. Multipliers are against artillery and ships. 30 ranged resistance, 30 siege damage resistance. I feel like these guys would trade well against skirms and infantry in general too. Counter with hand cav definitely.
Somali Issa Warrior - Musketeer style unit, but with multipliers against cav at both range and melee. 20% melee resistance. Basically a better gascenya. Counter with skirm/art.
Portuguese Cannoneer - pretty much an abus gun. Counter with hand cav and outrange with skirms.

Finally, there’s the Abun, a tanky healer.

Shared African Units - Both African civs get these units:

War Camp Units:
Javelin Riders - Both African civs get these. 10% ranged resist. Basically functions like a dragoon, with bonuses vs. hand cav, shock infantry, and artillery, but also has a melee attack with even HIGHER bonuses vs hand cav, shock infantry, and artillery. I think they still can do decently in melee mode vs. skirms as well, but skirms definitely still counter this unit, along with dragoons.

Units From House - African civs can train minutemen style units from houses. Apparently there is no build limit! lol.
Levied Spearman - a pike unit, essentially, but with bad siege. health decays.
Levied Bowman - an aenna / warrior type unit, with multipliers vs heavy inf and ranged cav. health decays.

Tower Units:
Desert Warrior - basically a musketeer unit, multipliers vs. cav in melee. good siege.
Desert Raider - hand cav with 30X ranged resist, decent attack, no multipliers, decent siege
Desert Archer - basically an aenna / cetan bow style unit, but with the same multipliers against heavy infantry and ranged cav in melee mode.
Corsair Marksman - basically a skirmisher unit, counter with artillery or cav. I think this is only available to Hausa, through an age up alliance.

Palace Units:
Levied Gunner - A minuteman style unit. It loses hitpoints over time. 20% melee resist. In ranged mode it has a bonus against siege units. In melee it has multipliers vs. siege and hand cav. It has negative multipliers vs. villager. Counter with skirm/art

Mexico - work in progress, I’ve barely touched this civ.
Soldado - 2 pop, basic musket, melee damage bonus vs. cav. Counter with skirms or artillery. Also has a grenade attack for siege.
Insurgente - seems kinda like a cheap rodelero? Low siege but strong vs cav in melee and fast. cheap too. Counter with skirms or artillery.
Salteador - skirm that can go stealthy in age 2 :o Counter with hand cav or artillery.
Chinaco - kind of a cross between a lancer and a melee dragoon, it has mild bonuses vs both hand cav and light infantry. it;s much less effective against heavy infantry than a lancer though. Counter with heavy infantry or goons. probably cant counter it with hussars like you can against actual lancers.

then Mexico also has their own outlaws, that are parallel to USA ones, I think, but have different charged abilities.

Desperado - musket type outlaw, counter with skirms. charged attack is a fast, high damage attack. Counter with skirms or artillery.
Cuatrero - dragoon/cowboy style outlaw, with a charged attack that slows enemies. Counter with skirms
Bandido - skirm/rifleman style outlaw, that has a dynamite attack with high siege. counter with hand cav or artillery.

also, Mexico has a revolt unit that you’re bound to see a lot:
Filibustero - 3 pop outlaw musketeer with decent siege attack, anti-cav/shock-inf melee attack but is just a worse Soldado on paper, however because all settlers turn into these when the player revolts, you’re typically going to see a big blob of these. Counter with skirms, artillery, anything anti-infantry basically.

New DE Mercs
Askari - Musketeer, counters cav at range, no multiplier in melee like a carolean. Counter with skirms/art.
Dahomey Amazon - a skirmisher at range, dealing ranged damage with multipliers vs heavy inf and ranged cav. also pretty strong attack against these units in melee. high hp, 10% melee resist. Counter with skirms/art/hand cav.
Cannoneer - basically an abus gun. Counter with hand cav
Sennar Horseman - a mameluke, pretty much. counter with dragoons
Gatling Camel - fast artillery unit with multipliers against infantry, and especially heavy infantry. Basically an organ gun with 7.25 speed (cool DE), but since it’s also technically a ranged cav unit it is countered by skirms and pikes as well as culverins and hand cav. But wouldn’t recommend skirms or pikes since these units also get shredded by it. 30% ranged resistance.
Kanuri Guard - tanky dragoon unit, also has multipliers in melee against cavalry, but mainly you wanna use it in ranged. countered by skirms. 40% ranged resist!
Zenata Rider - same thing pretty much, a strong dragoon type unit. ranged resist. Counter with skirms.
Zouave - kind of a musket/skirm hybrid with long range and no multipliers, but tagged as a skirmisher and benefits from counter infantry rifling. called a general unit that does well vs. everything, I think in practice it kinda sucks vs. everything for its cost. counter with skirms and artillery, and hand cav will do well vs. it bc it officially has a light infantry tag.
Napolean Gun - anti-infantry, anti-building, with a close range attack with a huge bonus vs infantry. Counter with hand cav or culverins.
Harquebusier - same as a swedish hakkapelit pretty much, but with much higher attack. ranged attack can be used to kite, melee attack can just wreck anything it touches 20% ranged resist. Counter with dragoons, stay out of melee!


i thought id help you out on this one. so hakks have a hidden 0.5x vs hand infantry that doesn’t show up on the ui. Since pets and coyote runner type units have the hand infantry tag, but the penalty is only intended to apply to pikes and halbs, they had to add 2x vs pets and 2x vs coyote (hand shock inf). the net result is they do base damage to pets and coyotes, half damage to pikes, rajput, halbs (and urumi, but dont tell anyone), and full damage to musketeers. (Hakks are actually quite effective against spammed muskets with the splash and high rof). Its a funky unit i think still hasn’t been utilized enough


Zouave is actually a skirmisher. It does not have the heavy infantry tag and benefits from rifling.

1 Like

i should mention this list is fantastic btw. really good summary. especially regarding whatever ethiopia is- oh their mortars have 0.1x vs arrow knights for any aztec mains out there


Soldatos also do fairly badly vs dragoon type of units. They are worse than 2 musketeers combined.

I. E. Javelin riders kind of hard counters them.

1 Like

You can watch Pro 1v1s here to find counters, I’ve also included individual civ playlist on my channel

More or less like revolutionaries.

They also act as the backbone of the army, with enough HP to tank damage and be more or less general purpose units. I regard them as mounted musketeers more than dragoons.

Fully carded maigadi are very effective against anything that’s not cannon or skirmishers, despite the fact they lack any common bonus damage.

1 Like

thanks! update coming soon