UNIT GUIDE to Empire Realism
Pros: Good Firepower,Bayonets
Cons: average morale,
Mainstay unit for all Western Armies. They receive standard training upon recruitment, therefore they start with 1 EXP point. Their main defense is concentrated firepower especially from close range, but they also carry bayonets which allows them to charge the enemy. Because armor is long gone, Line infantry is vulnerable to melee attacks from other infantry or mainly from cavalry. Their bayonets are very effective at killing, just not as effective at defending,besides standoff distance they provide. With Line Infantry you need to watch their cohesion status closely, as they become less effective once they start loosing cohesion, which will happen soon if you leave them firing for long time. Also melee will instantly disorganize units so be careful and always keep reserves.
Pros: Excelent Firepower, Ambush tactics
Cons: low defense against cavalry,high cost, small unit size
Light Infantry was developed after experiences with small war in America and central Europe. They were recruited from men who already served in Line infantry (staring Experience 2-3),but were good shots and presented themselves with good initiative. Once fielded, they were composed into companies, where each regiment had one company, but it was common practice to cross attach Light Infantry companies together. Thanks to their good initiative, they are keeping cohesion better making them very effective ranged unit,which makes them able to outshoot even larger units. Their weakness is they usually don't have bayonets, so they are susceptible to be overrun by melee units or cavalry.
Pros: High Morale, disciplined,Good firepower, Bayonet, Policing Bonus
Cons: High unit cost and upkeep, limited numbers, small unit size
Grenadiers were another specialist troops, recruited from experienced and tallest men of the Line Infantry regiment. As Light Infantry they were also composed as a Company, but often cross attached into independent Battalions. Some countries like France or Russia went even farther and fielded full Grenadier Regiments (Grenadiere de Roy, Russian Guard Grenadiers). They are good shots, but their main advantage it their individual strength, which made them feared by other Infantry units. Their main tactics should be Shock Action bayonet charge, which might often break morale of weakened enemy just by their presence on the battlefield. They also have good cohesion and will lose it much slower than other units. Grenadiers were also often used as policing unit due to their physical predisposition, therefore they also have policing bonus.
Pros: Excellent Morale,Disciplined,Good Firepower, Bayonets
Cons: Limited numbers, High cost and upkeep
Guards are Elite Infantry, Pride of Monarchs, who spend a lot of money on their training and equipment. Guard units only accepted exceptional individuals with previous military experience, which means Guard units starts with EXP 4 or higher. Guards have high morale, which makes them very hard to break, while they keep their cohesion better than normal units. Anyway because they are costly, its best to use them as reserve unit and use them at the decisive points in battle instead of letting them to be spend dueling other Line Infantry Regiments.
Pros: Low Cost, Policing Bonus, bayonets
Cons: Average Firepower, low morale
Militia and Garrison Troops are rapidly gathered men, with limited military experience. They start with 0 EXP, anyway if they keep fighting and gain some experience, they will be comparable to other Line Infantry units with the same amount of experience. Most of the time, they are formed into Battalions, and most of the time they protect the cities. Due to low morale, they will be no match to more experienced men if not used properly, anyway they can be very useful as Fort Garrison units (its easier to place them on walls and use fixed guns than with large units)
Infantry Technology advancements:
Bayonets progression was adjusted in ER3.5, as many European Nations start with Ring Bayonet, which can be further updated to Socket Bayonet. Its also possible to improve bayonet charge with improved bayonet drill.
Musket effectiveness can be improved thanks to Improved Infantry Training and Live Fire Drills which will help soldiers to better manage their weapons so weapons will miss-fire less often in battlefield conditions. Slight change was made with Rangers and Natives, as now they will be able to use open order drill and skirmish more effectively. This drill will be also available to Light Infantry units once they are fielded after proper research.
Cavalry is divided into several classes,which have impact on their effectivity on battlefield.
At the beginning every western nation is using cavalry based on 17.century tactics, armed with pistols and sword, protected by a breastplate. Pistols are their main weapons, and cavalry main tactics is to get close to infantry, fire pistols, and then charge them with swords. Problem with this tactics is, that as infantry improves, they are able to decimate slow moving cavalry by concentrated firepower. Therefore some research will be needed.
Pros: Good Defense, Dismountable, Good Shock Action Charge
Cons: Cost and upkeep,Melee against other cavalry
First modern cavalry unit available are Dragoons. These men usually had metal helmets (or metal cap inside of a hat), as well as leather boots and gloves which provided some protection against melee attacks. Dragoons were also trained as infantry, which means they can be dismounted and used as skirmisher force. They start with standard training (Initial Experience 1), but effectively can be used as a Heavy cavalry to break through Infantry positions especially if other Heavy cavalry is not available. They can perform formed charges, anyway they should avoid melee with other heavy cavalry.
Later Light Dragoons will be also available, which are more specialized troops closer to light cavalry or capable (dismounted) skirmisher force. Anyway they will be weaker than normal Dragoons in charge.
Regiments of Horse
Pros: Good charge, Shock Action, good melee defense
Cons: Cost and Upkeep, Low armor, require good cohesion to be effective
These are standard heavy cavalry, usable for shock action tactics against infantry or other cavalry. Their initial trainig was specialized for Heavy cavalry duty, therefore they start with better initial Experience over Dragoons. They have limited armor (helmets, leather boots and gloves) and are using straight swords. They are slightly more effective than dragoons, but cannot be dismounted. While they can take out any other cavalry unit, they should be careful against enemy Cuirassiers or Lancers.
Light Cavalry/ Chaseur Cheval
Pros: Fast moving, Dismountable, smaller cohesion impact.
Cons: weaker in melee
Light cavalry has advantage of being able to move fast across the battlefield. They dont use formed charges, and instead rely on individual swordsmanship and speed, which means they are less affected by cohesion loss impact. Anyway units like Chaseur Cheval are also skilled skirmishers, able to dismount and effectively skirmish enemy infantry from terrain cover. They can be also effective chasing down routed infantry.
Pros:Fast Moving, Shock action charges, small cohesion impact.
Cons: no armor
Hussars are very special kind of Light cavalry. They are very good swordsmen, with very high morale, often charging full speed into battle. While they can be extremely dangerous flanking force, ideal for surprise raids,they should be careful and not charge directly into heavy cavalry but instead use their better speed and maneuver and hit them from flanks. Their starting experience is high (EXP 3 and higher).
Pros: Heavy Armor, good charge
Cons: Cost, require good cohesion
Cuirassiers are opposite of Hussars. They are slower, but hard hitting unit with strong armor which protects them well in melee. Cuirassiers can take head on against practically anything, except infantry formed in squares. Their disadvantage is their great cost, and their speed, anyway they can break even strongest positions if used properly. Due to their prestige, only strong recruits were accepted which gives them good starting experience (EXP 3)
Pros: Shock Action Charge
Cons: low armor,require good cohesion
Lancers are perfect shock cavalry. they fight in closed formation, dealing most damage by the charge. They can be very effective against other cavalry this way.Their initial impact might overwhelm other cavalry unit they hit. They might run into problems with Cuirassiers, or if outflanked by Hussars. They are also very effective charging and running down infantry. Because they were most of the time formed from former Dragoons Regimets, they have same starting experience.
Guard Heavy Cavalry
Pros: Shock Action Charge, Defense
Same as with Guard Infantry, Guard Heavy cavalry get the best men, best equipment and best training of all. Usually they wore metal helmets or metal caps inside of hats, while they also have metal front plate under their coat which gives them good melee protection. Their charge is devastating, they have high morale which makes them unstoppable charging force. Same as Cuirassiers they can overrun even heavily defended positions, anyway because of their cost, its better to use them when time is right instead of initial charge against all guns and muskets enemy has..
Artillery was overhauled a lot and it greatly depends on technology available. It can be produced only in big cities. at the beginning of the game, every faction will have old late 17.century gun available. Those are heavy pieces, which are very slow to be moved, once deployed they cannot change possition, and their crew has low morale as lots of civilians still operated these units as contractors, and it was even hard to make them stay, once firing started.
Two 17.century types are available
- Sakers -which are 5.5pdr light guns with short range and average reload speed, firing standard roundshot and scattershot (small pieces of iron, nails. musket bullets in the bag). Scattershot has big dispersion and is only effective at short range.
Culverins are heavier 16pdr guns with long range,but very slow reload speed. They also are able to fire scattershot against Infantry.
To get better guns you need to research Artillery reorganisation. This tech will allow you to build/recruit three types of guns: Light infantry guns, which have relativly good mobility, but they have just half of the guns as normal battery. Because of light calibers they have short range, but relativly higher rate of fire. They are good to be used against enemies that dont have any artillery at all.
Medium foot artillery uses 9pdr guns and is also movable across the battlefield. They have moderate range and rate of fire, but they are not as accurate as heavy artillery which uses 12 pdr guns. again Heavy artillery can be moved on the battlefield, but only slowly due to weight issues. All early 18.century guns are using light antipersonal amunition - light canister which can be devastating at short range.
Early artillery available:
Light infantry guns - 3pdr light guns with short range but fast rate of fire. They have just half of usual number of guns (2) as normally such guns would be directly linked with Regiments.
9pdr Artillery - medium guns with average range,but good reload speed. firing round shot and light canister.
12pdr Artillery - heavy guns with long range and average reload speed. same amunition available.
After Artillery advancement research is researched, new advanced guns will be available and will make older guns obsolete. Light artillery will use 6pdr guns, these guns thans to improved manufacturing process will be relativly accurate and fast firing. Heavier 12 pdrs will have lower rate of fire, but higher accuracy and range. Also gun crews now get better training and better educated officers which gives them improved morale. Another improvement is availability of heavy canister for all guns, which has smaller number of larger bullets which gives gun longer range, anyway its rate of fire is same as with solid shot, while Light canister is often fired very fast as a defensive round.
Late Artillery units:
Light artillery - 6pdr guns,average range and fast rate of fire, roundshot, and both heavy and light canister
Heavy artillery - 12pdr guns. Long range, while rate of fire is higher than with same earlier version of 12pdr gun. They are also more accurate than older version. Round Shots and two versions of canisters.
Next in the tech tree is Horse artillery. Once researched, it will provide two types of artillery - light arty with 3pdr guns and medium 6pdrs. Their main benefit is fast movement on the battlefield and on the campaign map
3pdr artillery will be obsoleted in last tier artillery building by 9pdr Guard Horse artillery unit which will represent the top artillery unit for the west in game.
Ottomans and Indian factions are not included into upgrade schema, they will have standard progression. Their upgrade schema will be added with next update (3.6?)
Naval units and technologies got overhauled too. Tech tree got several new technologies with actual workable bonuses that matter. Player will start the game with usual 50gun Ship of the Line and some 32gun Frigates. Heavier Early ships are available from military ports as well, with 86gun 2nd rate as early Admiral ship. Big change in ER3 is that player would be not able to build smaller vessels like sloops and Brigs at the start of the game. These vessels represent Privateers, so if you wanna built them you need to research Letter of Marque tech first.
Ship of the line:
Pros: Heavy firepower, good accuracy, strong construction
Cons: Slower, average cruising, high upkeep
Actual Ship types are similar to previous version of ER mod and are following standard classes.lighter Ship of the line is 4th rate 50gun SoL. Its armament depends on faction, where British ships carry 24pdrs on main desck and 9pdr on upper deck, while others carry 18pdrs and 9pdrs.
60 gun SoL has similar armament with 24pdrs and 9pdrs, other factions use similar setup.
3rd rate ships are again different - British use 70gun SoL with 24/12/9 guns, French use heavier and more costly 36/18/9 74gun version. Spanish use 70gun ships with 24/18/9 gun schema. Small factions are using 70gun 24/12/9 schema. These ships will get replaced by late 3rd rate ships of the line after proper research is done. British will get 74gun ship with 32/18/9 gun schema (based on captured french early designs), French will get heavier 32/24/9 variant. Spanish and others will use 24/18/9 or 32/18/9.
As mentioned 2nd rate is Admiral ship (recruited with admiral) and is armed with 32/18/12 guns. THis ship will get obsoleted by 1 rate 100gun ships later.
There are three variants of 1rate ships. Base model available early with 32/24/12 guns, gets replaced by improved 1rate later which carry heavy 68pdr carronades on the prow and similar gun schema.
Latest are heavy 1rate ships with 120 guns, with 32/24/18/12 gun schema, only available from latest tier military ports in limited numbers.
Pros: good battle speed, good maneurability, long range cruising.
Cons: Average firepower and hull strength
Base Frigate type is 32run 5rate armed with 12pdr/9pdr guns. This gets replaced later by improved 32 Frigate model with heavier armament 18/9pdrs. With carronade research, carronade version is available with 32pdr carronades on main deck and long 12pdrs on upper deck.
At the same time as late 32pdr Frigate gets available, 44gun Frigate emerges. This is larger ship with 18/12pdr armament, probably ultimate cruiser until very late in game comes Razee.
Razee is similar to 44gun Frigate, but instead of 18pdrs it carries heavy 24pdr guns on main deck. This ship can easilly take on older 4rates due to supperior speed, maneurability and similar weaponry.
Pros: High battle speed, high maneurability, long range cruising, zero upkeep
Cons: low firepower, fragile construction
After letter of marque is researched, you can build Privateers. Sloop is cheaper, and can better sail into wind. Brig cost slightly more, is armed with similar light guns but due to rigging is it will not escape into wind. Both those vessels have no upkeep once build. This makes them ideal at blockading enemy trade (as they provide pure profit from it)
After carronades are researched, heavier Brig variant will be available with carronades (18pdr) which will make it quite dangerous to any other auxilary vessels.
Pros: zero upkeep, trading
Cons: lightly armed, low morale
At the begining there is simple Trade ship available with 12 guns. Trade ships have very low morale so it is not really good idea using them in combat. anyway, due to no upkeep they earn a lot of money once placed in trade areas. Later, also Armed version become available. Armed Indiaman is slightly heavier, and is armed with 36-38 guns (12/9 pdrs) - just enough to defent themself against pirates and privateers. Anyway, because it is still trade ship, its crew will not hold for long so it better to accompany those ships or put them into larger convoys. again, they have 0 upkeep, but cost much more than simple trade ship.
Eastern factions have Dhow trade ship available. THese ships are also armed, therefore dangerous for any trade ship they might encounter,but any military Frigate will do quick process with them.
Pros: high battle speed, high maneurability, long range cruising, zero upkeep
Cons: average firepower and hull strength
Pirates are special now. They dont have access to similar ships as standard factions anymore. Instead, they have unique ship available - Pirate Ship - this is 24gun small fast Frigate armed with 9 pdr guns. These ships can be dangerous to any trade ships, in larget numbers even to military ships (if surrounded) anyway, they last military discipline and training. instead, they preffer boarding actions.