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Technology upgrade tree looks like this:

|Steel          |    |Gunpowder   |
|- Longswordman |    |- Musketman |
|  cost 150     |    |  cost 120  |
|  str: 18      | => |  str: 16   |
|  mov: 2       |    |  mov: 2    |
|  req: steel   |    |  req: -    |

Therefore, at first glance I thought that since the Musketman is a unit for a later technology it would be "better". But it appears that as long as I can build longswordmen and have the time to build them, I should not spend maintenance on musketmen.

Am I correct? What about upgrade paths?

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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You get a -50% penalty if you are using a unit that requires a strategic resource, and then go negative in that resource.

That is, you lose a source of Iron that puts you below 0 Iron, all units that use Iron will have a -50% penalty until you get more iron or lose some units.

This is especially annoying with Aluminum and Uranium if you have puppet cities that use those for buildings. If you get in a war and temporarily go negative, all of your nice units become expensive rubble.

As per your original question:

I ignore musketmen in general. It's not worth the switch if I can have a unit with more base defense. that, and it's a pretty easy jump into rifling at that point.

The point of the musketmen is in situations where you've got no iron available but need units. They'll do in a pinch, since horse-based units are easily countered with cheap pikes or spearmen.

The french and the americans have unique units instead of musketmen, so they are more likely worth it.

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As shown in this question the upgrade paths are the same. So I guess it comes down to whether you are willing to wait the extra production time, and whether you have a better use for that iron. Besides building other units with it, keep in mind that you can also trade it to a friend temporarily for an economic boost.

The other factor is that if you are under attack and you lose some sources of iron, you could start suffering a penalty to combat power if you go negative, which is less likely if you stick with the musketmen.

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Could you elaborate on suffering a penalty to combat power if you go negative ... I do not quite follow? –  Martin Oct 18 '10 at 7:31
    
@Martin if you use more iron than you have available - e.g. you gained access to 2 icon, built 1 longswordsman and then lost access to that iron - then your iron count will appear to be negative, -1 in my example. As long as a resource is in the negative, all units who use it will receive a -50% combat modifier - so your longswordsman will get -50% in every battle. This is a very significant drawback, and it should be taken into consideration when the source of the resource is at risk. –  Oak Oct 18 '10 at 17:11
    
@Oak - no, wait ... I need the iron for the upkeep of my units? I thought I only need it to produce them (and I certainly got the impression as I built a lot of them recently). Is there already a separate question for this issue? –  Martin Oct 19 '10 at 6:16
    
@Martin you can open a new question about it if you want... but I'm certain of my comment, and as you can see MadDjinn says the same in the other answer. –  Oak Oct 19 '10 at 7:37
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