With 20 more Combat Strength and Ranged Strength than its predecessor, the Field Cannon is a big step up from the Crossbowman. Its cannonballs can do serious damage to Knights and Musketmen, and are reasonably effective against Cavalry and the defenses of most Industrial-era cities. Take advantage of their range and power to earn them a few promotions before upgrading them, as their range will decrease when they become Machine Guns.
Unlike the Musketman and Bombard, the Field Cannon does not require Niter to produce (which is counterintuitive, considering that all three require gunpowder to operate). They can be vital for defense if your empire is spread out and/or has no access to Niter.
Civilopedia entry Edit
Field cannon – the earliest form of mobile gunpowder artillery – dates back to the wars of Gustavus Adolphus, a bastardization of the Ottoman hand cannon and the heavy siege artillery used throughout Europe. The Swedish king needed increased mobility and devastation from his guns if he was going to conquer the north, and so he developed 4- and 9-pounder demi-culverins and a 12-pounder cannon (the traditional method of distinguishing type of cannon is by weight of shot); each gun was able to be serviced by three men and hauled by two horses. He also organized them into batteries, rather than scatter them about through the ranks. And the Swedes pioneered several types of specialized ammunition, including canister for blasting massed enemy infantry. So effective was Adolphus’ field guns and his tactics for their use that soon enough every nation in Europe and beyond had adopted his innovations, and the art of war again changed dramatically.