Quick - Regular - Epic - Marathon
First gunpowder infantry unit of the game. Replaces the Longswordsman.
The Musketman is the first gunpowder unit in the game, and although it's not much more powerful than its predecessor, it is a necessary step to continue to the other, more powerful units in the late middle game. They are a step back from the massive over-protection of the Longswordsman, relying more on offensive power than steel defense. Their weapons are actually ranged weapons with a very short range - they need to enter the tile they want to attack, although they don't necessarily attempt to mingle with the opponent battalion like classical melees from the old times. Instead, they line up and fire their muskets at the enemy ranks, then, depending on the situation, reload to fire again (which tends to take quite some time), or use the attached bayonets to enter real melee combat.
The firing capabilities of the Musketmen allow them to damage Swordsmen before they even approach; after that they can use their muskets as short spears in melee. The total result gives them a slightly higher Combat strength than a Longswordsman, who has the edge in melee with their massive armor, but already enters battle winded down from the musketman's welcoming volley. Also, unlike its predecessor, the Musketman doesn't require resources to build.
The musketman is available soon after the Longswordsman, and the respective tech - Gunpowder is in much the same part of the tech tree. So, many offensive players choose to rush straight to the musketman (researching the tech immediately after Steel), as it is slightly stronger and provides an even greater advantage in battle.
The musket replaced the arquebus, and was in turn replaced by the rifle (in both cases, after a long period of coexistence). The term "musket" is applied to a variety of weapons, including the long, heavy guns with matchlock, wheel lock or flint lock and loose powder fired with the gun barrel resting on a stand, and also lighter weapons with Snaphance, flintlock, or caplock and bullets using a stabilizing spin (Minié ball), affixed with a bayonet. 16th-century troops armed with a heavy version of the arquebus called a musket were specialists supporting the arquebusiers and pikemen formations. By the start of the 18th century, a lighter version of the musket had edged out the arquebus, and the addition of the bayonet edged out the pike, and almost all infantry became musketeers.
Musket calibers ranged from 0.5 to 0.8 in (13 to 20 mm). A typical smooth bore musket firing at a single target was only accurate to about 100 to 150 yd (91 to 137 m) using the military ammunition of the day, which used a much smaller bullet than the musket bore to compensate for accumulation of ash in the barrel under battlefield conditions. Rifled muskets of the mid-19th century, like the Springfield Model 1861, were significantly more accurate, with the ability to hit a man sized target at a distance of 500 yards (460 m) or more. The advantage of this extended range was demonstrated at the Battle of Four Lakes, where Springfield Model 1855 rifled muskets inflicted heavy casualties among the Indian warriors before they could get their smooth bore muskets into range. However, in the Italian War of 1859, French forces were able to defeat the longer range of Austrian rifle muskets by aggressive skirmishing and rapid bayonet assaults during close quarters combat.