The Nations in European Wars – a report from the battlefield by Baraban
After months of playing Cossacks (demo and since november the final version) I feel secure enough to give you some clues about the differences between the nations in Cossacks. These are of course basic clues, as Cossacks complexity offers something new to discover every time when playing. The handbook is good for the start but lacks any deeper information.
But then, it would take writing a small book alone just to explain the proper use of artillery in Cossacks. However, I’ll do my best to keep it short and informative. Donīt forget, this article reflects my personal view and other players opinion may differ.
Cossacks’s game balance – only referring to multiplayer – is outstanding. Consequently, there is no best, strongest, easiest or else nation in Cossacks. All have advantages and disadvantages, and all offers a wide range of strategical and tactical opportunities, which allow every nation to win against any other. Though, Western nations and Poland are basically more similar to play as Ukraine, Turkey, Algeria and Russia. However, the Western nations main differences are their special units, which Iīll describe here, and some variations on upgrade costs, building costs and building construction time.
Let’s take a closer look.
Ukraine – the most eccentric nation
GSCs homeland is unique in many ways. Peasants fight as good as pikemen (as long as they lack higher training upgrades) and you canīt take them over, except when you conquer a mill or towncenter. Another enormous plus is the quickly (but costly) built Montgol- fier that may reveal the map sooner to the Ukraine than to any other nation.
On the other hand, the Ukraine cannot build stonewalls and towers, which forces the player to be rather offensive. Unique as well are the missing officer and drummer. That means no formation and a bit of extra micro-management while moving your Cossacks/Hetmans/ Serdiuks army on the battlefield. Finally, as they do not have a Yacht, a Frigate or a Battleship, this country is the weakest on sea-maps.
However, even when the game is fully developed, is it very hard to fight your way through a large number of Serdiuks, which are one of the most effective musketeer in Cossacks.
Economy: Although Ukraine, along with Algeria and Turkey, can not change into the 18th century, this nation may use the important second mill upgrade.
|civilian||serdiuk||sich cossacks||register cossack||hetman|
Algeria – the most offensive nation
Continuous pressure straight from the beginning is the key for victory here. This is done by the cheap and fast mass-production of archers and light infantrymen in quickly built barracks.
An unexperienced player will have no chance to survive for long when facing an solid Algerian archer rush. Their flaming arrows burn down mines within seconds. But if those rushes fail, time will get tough for Algeria as other nations advance. The main reason is the lack of any firearm units. The Algerians have the strong Mameluke cavalry to keep up, but will need a lot of mercenary dragoons (equivalent to a hell of gold) to withstand later in the game. The missing Montgolfier is not helpful either.
|light infantryman||ottoman pikeman||archer||mameluke|
Turkey – the 17th century Ottoman powerhouse
Turkey offers you a lot of strategical varieties. Flood your enemy at the beginning with light infantryman. Surprise him with the flaming arrows of your Tartar cavalry. Or build up a strong Pikeman/Janissary army and march slowly but steadily forward, flanked by Spahis (Spakh) cavalry. Janissaries are strong and compared to other 17th century musketeers, faster to produce (except Dutch musketeers). Like the Algerians, you can also command the fast and beautiful Xebec.
As long as your rivals stay in the 17th century, Turkey is strong and dangerous. But as soon as the first 18th century army appears on the battlefield youīll get problems. Turkey, like Algeria, canīt produce the important Montgolfier. Another problem is the absence of light cavalry and -unlike 18th century muske- teers and grenadiers – you need pikeman to protect your Janissaries. Well, but thanks to Allah, there is always the diplomatic center to hire Cossacks and dragoons.
Economy: The food-upgrades at the Algerian and Turkish academy costs considerable less.
|light infantry-man||ottoman pikeman||janissary||spakh||tatar|
Russia – the defensive nation
The main advantage is simple to describe: the strongest pikemen in the game. Like Algeria or Ukraine, Russia can build up more barracks quicker than other nations to spit out those frightening strong Spearmen to boot you out of the game almost as fast as Algerian archers. But if not, Russia has to switch quick to defense, because this nation needs time to build up a decent cavalry (Don Cossacks and Vityaz) and later on a 18th century army. Even the diplomatic center costs more ressources than those of all the other nations. The Russian tower is a helpful device, which is build a bit faster and doesnīt cost gold. The Strelets are strong, but rather good for defense than for attack. They have a very short range, a poor firerate and need a lot of time to be produced.
Poland – the sort of fun nation
The favourite nation for many players here in Germany. The main reason is – yes, you guessed right – the Winged Hussar (Husaria). This unit is beautiful and very strong alike. In fact it is the only heavy cavalry that matches with the speed of Cossacks. That means Poland may rule the map and you can steer up your enemies like a fox in the chicken stable – at least for a while.
But first you have to survive while producing a decent number of Husaria, because everything else Poland has to offer in the 17th century is rather poor. Polish pikemen are fast to produce but the weakest in the game and musketeers need longer to get ready for action than the Spanish (you know what that means). However, starting attacks with Husaria is good fun and forces even better players to be much more defensive to keep those devils out of town.
But after all you certainly cannot win with Husaria only. You would rather have to use them to protect your weaker units and artillery. Important as well is a quick change into the 18th century.
|pikeman||17c musketeer||winged hussar||light rider|
Austria – the generalist nation
This nation’s main disadvantage is – donīt laugh – the huge size of buildings. They are much larger than all others. The way you place your buildings is very important. Especially later in the game, when you need space for dwellings to surmount the population limit. Austria needs a lot of space and those large buil- dings make the overview and control more difficult.
However, Austria has many interesting units to offer in both centuries. First you have those underestima- ted Roundshiers. They are not as strong as pikemen but very quick to produce. Use them for early rushes or even better to fight enemies off. Later on, they are very useful to stand in first line when attacking cannon positions or to protect musketeers.
Due to their armor, Austrias 17th century musketeers are one of the strongest, along with the well-known Spanish. The Croat is the fastest cavalry unit of the 17th century, apart from the stronger Winged Hussar and the weaker Cossack. In the 18th century, Austria has strong grenadiers and a good elite sniper – the Pandur.
Saxony – the longest way to power
Saxony is rather difficult to play as this nation becomes a decisive power only very late in the 18th century. But then, you will get hold of the expensive but powerful and elegant Saxonian grenadier and the strongest rifleman in the game, the Saxonian musketeer. Though, this luxury unit takes ages to produce. Another interesting unit is the Saxonian Guard cavalry. These riders are already available in the 17th century, but evolve to real power in the 18th century after spending a fortune on costly upgrades. However, it pays off as you do not have to switch to cuirassiers. Well, if you get to this advanced situ- ation unharmed and managed to create a very prosperous economy with enough gold on your account, then a Saxonian army is hard to beat.
|saxonian rider||18c musketeer||grenadier|
France – the cavalry nation
In the 17th century France is not much different to play as other Western nations. Except for the Royal Musketeer. Being awfully strong, he can kill a rider with a single shot, but he has a very poor firerate and a very long production time. However, in some cases he is very useful.
When playing France, the real fun starts with the French dragoon, after you have clicked the 18th century button. Fast to produce and strong (think of the mercenary dragoon). Combined with heavy and light cavalry the French dragoon is a deadly and agile force and a real threat on the 18th century battlefield. Additionally, you may use the Chasseur who is comparable to the Austrian Pandur. Another great treat: France has the smallest buildings (see Austria).
|royal musketeer||18c dragoon||chasseur|
England (Great Britain) – the solid nation
If you donīt like any mambo jumbo hassle with exotic units and strategies, go for good old England. For extra fun and power you will hear the bagpipes and get the Highlander in the 18th century. The men in tartan are the most quickly to produce elite force in the 18th century (except Saxonian grenadiers and Swedish pikemen), they are sturdy and cost no money (I wonder why). Although the musketeers are usually the main infantry force of the 18th century, a smart line-up of Highlanders can make the difference between victory and defeat.
Sweden – pikemen glory
Two unique units here. The first one is the Swedish rider. This heavy cavalry unit is a bit similar to the Saxonian rider but weaker and slower to produce. The other one is the Swedish 18th century pikeman. Strong and in no time to produce, offers this interesting unit some unique strategical und tactical possibi- lities. But you’ll need two 18th century barracks to get full advantage of these elite pikemen.
Portugal – ruling the sea
Finally something for sea aficionados. Portugals unique unit is the shipyard, which is in fact a powerful cannontower at the same time. Spread them all over the coastline and everyhing what gets too close will feel pain. This great feature gives Portugal an major advantage on sea-maps.
Netherlands – musketeers to the front
Go for this nation, if you like musketeers as the backbone of your 17th century army. Because the Dutch musketeer is the fastest to produce in the game. Though, not the strongest one, you’ll need a perfect timing on your resource-management to get the important upgrades for the Dutch musketeer not too late.
Piemonte – praise the padres
You should not underestimate the extra stamina, priests can bring to your army, especially earlier in the game. But keeping priests close in line with the troops is not an easy task in the heat of the battle.
However, Piemontes unique unit, the Padre, has the strongest healing-power in the game. Give it a try and use holy men in higher numbers.
Prussia and Venice – at least nice buildings
Both nations are unique in Cossacks EW. Because both have no unique units at all. Take the first sentence from the Engand description and let us wait for the Add-on, then Venice will get a unique warship and Prussia a unique light cavalry unit.
Spain – the best known Cossacks EW nation in the world
Nothing more to say but use the strong 17th century musketeer!
INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CONTENT:
Date of publish: 02.02.2001
Author: Stefan Hertrich
Language of publish: english