The concern : Indeniably, "normal" heavy infantry (pikeman, halbs, clubs, rods, rajput, etc) are really not used a lot compared to musketeers as anti-cav. It's true that they are still used sometimes, like when you do long bow pike because going pike here fits well in terms of resources when you have to make longbows, but by far musketeers are used much often by civs who got access to musks.
So what is the problem ? Are musketeers too strong or melee infantry (let's call them like that) too bad ?
- Is melee infantry too bad ?
I think they don't use too be op units, but most of them are decent. If you micro well your units, they can tank in cover mode during big range fight which is great and they do really really good damages when they catch cav, goons, and in a less extent skirms. Think about catching an army of goon/skirms with rods, that's pretty cool. Sadly they got rekt versus musketeers, because musketeers got 0.2 melee resist + they do damage range to pikes. So they are pretty good during melee battles, but as we all know the downside is that clearly get bad during range battles. They are most of the time useless Maybe some of them should be improved. I think pumas and rods are on a nice spot. Pikes and dops are ok. And halbs or rajput are bad. My conclusion is that there overall stats are ok, maybe some little tweaks should be done here and there, but they are okish.
- Are musketeers too strong ?
Yes. They are for various reasons. They are polyvalent which is by itself nice, and it seems to be the reason of their existence in the game. They are a cross unit between skirms and melee infantry units. Sadly they perfom too well in most of situations for an heavy infantry unit. They do well vs cav because they can shoot before cav reaches them, and once done, the first line of musk can go in melee mode while the musketeers behind can still do a range attack. Not even pathing problems like melee infantry units. They are ok vs goons, especially now that goons range resist is nerf on EP. They do perform well versus range units if they don't get hit and run. Their 75 food 25 gold cost imply an easy macro. To sum up they are easy and too strong in most cases. What even more is terrible, is that destroy melee infantry units.
Basic : Reduce musk attack (or eventually their HP). Improve stats of some melee infantry units. That would imply that the meta would be really different I think. We would probably see a better balance of units composition. and that would be even more dynamic. Ideally diverse unit composition a la china (changdao is a decent unit) makes civs and game more dynamic and challenging to play.
Let's debate, what are your thoughts on that ?