It breaks the game because they kill Musks and xbows in a 3-unit radius. A heavy infantry that can kill early Skrims just doesn’t work. On top of that, they kill buildings very fast. Units in age 2 do not have enough HP or damage to fight against these units.
Most civs do not have access to this unit in Age 2 which makes sense but China can get them from the consulate and Otto can make them from their artillery foundry. China and Otto are already strong in age 2 I don’t see why they need Grenadiers.
I did some testing…
(British Grenadiers have 200HP and 16 damage, 3 area)
10 musk to kill 5 British Gernediers
14 Xbows to kill 5 British Grenadiers
(Chinese Grenadiers are like British Grenadiers but with 10% extra HP and Damage.)
12 musks to kill 5 Chinese Grenediers
15 Xbow to kill 5 Chinese Grenadiers
Otto Grenadiers perform worse than British Grenadiers since they only have 2 area damage (even though they have more damage and HP)
12 Xbows to kill 10 musk
Disclaimer: No micro was done and test results vary by +1 or -1.
Xbows are especially bad at taking area damage (same for pikes), and Musks trade equally unless they face the Chinese Grenediars. Grenediars cost roughly 200f equivalent, while Xbox cost 100f equivalent and musks cost 110f equivalent.
Grenadiers also have a really slow firing animation which makes them susceptible to to hit and run tactics from other ranged infantry. Grenadiers only become good in Age 3 after the Grenade Launcher HC card has been sent but by that time its too late as you and your opponent can now train cannons which are better all round units.
That said Otto’s new Humbaraci Grenadiers are insane as they have a sizable anti-artillery multiplier that makes them like easier to use culverins. In addition to that they fair reasonably well again most other infantry units in mass because of there area of effect and longer range. AND their great against building. Now that is an OP unit.
I’d like to see standard grenadiers get a rework similar to this.
Tbh i did chinese FF grenadiers last year when I still played the game, and reached 1400 elo (broke my personal record).
I did comsulate grens and intervention, that is 9 grenadiers at vetaran level, with extra 10%. Huge power spike in early fortress vs age 2 armies. They kill buildings so fast and easily catch opponent off guard no one was expecting it. They kill buildings so fast opponent gets forever housed or lose production buildings. And when tney almost die, use the healing button and you get fresh new grenadiers again. Very good strat vs musk spammer
Humbaraci are better in later stages than standard grens, but early on they actually a bit worse. 5 grens will beat 10 musk, but 5 humbaraci will lose to 5 musks. They beat normal grens head on, but so do jans and you really struggle to justify them at some point.
The need of a meat wall and the high cost makes them kinda hard to actually get value with early on. Best place for them I’ve seen is as a counter for FF/FI strats that ship alot of cannons
Early game you’re totally right - Humbaraci are not amazing - but that’s because there’s no artillery early game (the unit they are designed to counter).
When Humbaraci are massed during a treaty game I’ve seen them wipeout “musk/falconet” combos with ease as a mono composition army. (Obviously the grenade launcher card is still a must for this to work).
The problem I find that normal grenadiers have, is that they don’t really have a proper unit they counter. They trade pretty well against musks but skirms trade better. They also have no positive multipliers against any units. So after you’ve used them as an early-game form of siege, they become pretty obsolete after cannons come into play: (Where pikeman would probably be a more economical form of early-game siege, anyway)
So I feel that for grenadiers to be used more in games, they are going to need to be given well defined counters which are easy to use.