Quick - Regular - Epic - Marathon
|Upgrades to|| Great war infantry|
Strong, front-line land Unit of the Renaissance Era.
The Rifleman is the gunpowder unit following the musketman. It is significantly more powerful than the musketman, giving the army with them a big advantage over civs which do not yet have them. They are weak to Cavalry and Lancers in open terrain, and (like most medival era melee units) tend to be severely damaged by powerful siege units(cannon, artillery) that are used to defend cities, so make sure that the city you plan to attack doesn't have these units defending it, otherwise your best bet is to weaken the city with ranged attacks before you send in the riflemen.
A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder. The inside of the barrel has "rifled" grooves designed to spin the projectile as it is fired, giving it greater range and accuracy than an unrifled projectile. The earliest attempts at rifled barrels in Europe occurred in the 15th century, but difficulties in manufacturing kept it from general use until the 19th. American frontiersmen had rifles in the American War of Independence. British and American skirmishers and scouts were equipped with rifled muskets during the Napoleonic Wars/War of 1812, but the weapons' slower loading time kept them out of the hands of the regular infantry for some years further.
The invention of the "minie ball" greatly reduced loading time and by the American Civil War rifled muskets were in use in all major European armies. By the end of the Civil War the rifled musket was rendered obsolete by the breech-loading repeating rifle, which had a firing rate of perhaps one shot a second, (as fast as one could cock the lever and pull the trigger), compared to the muzzle-loading rifle's firing rate of perhaps 15 seconds per shot for a well-trained soldier.
The Rifleman in game appears to be based off the French Army uniform of the Second French Empire given the blue uniform in the picture and the distinctive kepi. The uniform proved so popular that the United States Army adopted it as their uniform and is recognized for its use in the Crimean War, US Civil War, French Intervention in Mexico, Indian Wars and many other conflicts. It remained in service with the French Army into World War I