Light units are the "balanced" class of military unit. Usually one of the first units unlocked in each age, they are also the second-fastest (behind fast units) and are quite versatile, being able to both attack and defend against most units rather well. Their one hard counter is heavy units, being able to both withstand and easily defeat them.
Up until the Progressive Era, light units receive a defense bonus in bushes and forests, allowing them to greatly increase their defense to even withstand heavy units. They receive an attack bonus against fast units, which is important as the AI will command fast units to always go after and target both ranged units and artillery units first, so defeating them quickly is a necessity. In a pinch, they are always able to out run a heavy unit and escape to safety until other units can defeat them, or to reach more favorable terrain.
Some light units receive a special ability called "Stealth" when standing in a forest (see the table below for which). This turns them transparent and indicates that they may not be targeted by any ranged attack; an enemy must be directly next to them in order to attack. This gives light units an advantage against ranged classes, but care should be taken as this forces the enemy, in particular their ranged classes, to focus fire on the units they can target as they will not try to advance towards a stealthed unit.
Once a player begins using and facing the Progressive Era's (and beyond) units, battles change significantly, with a much greater emphasis on terrain and unit bonuses. Light units should primarily be used to dispatch the enemy's heavy and artillery units, with care being taken to avoid ranged units and also fast units when starting in the Modern Era.
*In update of version 0.17(19.9.2012), Great Sword Warrior was re-balanced, to have a movement of 16 instead of 10
- Spearfighter (Bronze Age)
- Soldier (Iron Age)
- Mercenary (Early Middle Ages)
- Berserker (High Middle Ages)
- Great Sword Warrior (Late Middle Ages)
- Ranger (Colonial Age)
- Jaeger Infantry (Industrial Age)
- Conscript (Progressive Era)
- Bazooka Team (Modern Era)
- Commando (Postmodern Era)
- Strike Team (Contemporary Era)
|Bonus Against||Terrain Bonus||Training Cost|
|Spearfighter||7 / 7 / 14 / 1||Fast +3||Bush D+2; Forest D+3||25 / 25 / 20s||Spearfighter Barracks|
|Soldier||9 / 9 / 16 / 1||Fast +4||Bush D+3; Forest D+4||100 / 100 / 2h||Soldier Barracks|
|Mercenary||13 / 13 / 16 / 1||Fast +5||Bush D+3; Forest D+5||150 / 150 / 4h||Mercenary Barracks|
|Berserker||20 / 16 / 16 / 1||Fast +6||Bush D+4; Forest D+6||200 / 200 / 4h||Berserker Barracks|
|Great Sword Warrior||25 / 25 / 16 / 1||Fast +7||Bush D+4; Forest D+7||250 / 250 / 4h||Great Sword Warrior Barracks|
|Ranger||35 / 35 / 16 / 1||Fast +10||Bush D+7; Forest D+10|
"Hides in Forest" 1
|580 / 140 / 4h||Ranger Encampment|
|Jaeger Infantry||28 / 37 / 16 / 4||Fast +15||Bush D+10; Forest D+14|
"Hides in Forest" 1
|420 / 100 / 4h||Jaeger Encampment|
|Conscript||40 / 48 / 16 / 9||Artillery +25 Heavy +10||Adjacent field A+20; Trenches D+25; Entrenchments A/D+10||1120 / 280 / 4h||Conscription Office|
|Bazooka Team||70 / 45 / 14 / 7||Artillery +25 Heavy +35||Dug In D+30; Trenches D+30; Entrenchments A/D+20||250 / 250 / 4h||Heavy Weapons Center|
|Commando||80 / 55 / 18 / 7||Artillery +40 Heavy +40||Adjacent field A+50; Forests D+50; Entrenchments A/D+25 "Stealth in Forest"||250 / 250 / 4h||Commando Camp|
1 Hides in Forest - Immune to distance attacks when hidden in forest.
Mix 'n' Match
Units:2-4 light units, 2-3 heavy units, 1-2 ranged units, 0-2 artillery units, and 0-2 fast units.
This is your utility formula. It depends on what you are up against. Using fast unit is like a suicide attack, yes it will probably 1 hit kill their range but will get killed by the surrounding units. Only use fast unit with very good reason as in they have many range. The artillery unit is optional depending on what you want. The light unit is best utility unit and when on trees has nearly no disadvantage. You can have equal amounts of light and heavy units for a very strong defense and counter to their fast units and light units. Only problem with having much heavy units is they become very vulnerable to ranged and slow your charge. The ranged unit does lots of damage but don't have so many it becomes hard to protect them. Try to have equal amounts of ranged and melee units. They are more there to pick off what your melee cant reach or soften them up for a melee to 1 hit kill. Artillery unit is fun but the damage is so low 1 is not enough to kill anything and is more of a liability. This plan allows you to charge forward with a strong maintained force without slow artillery or fast units that cant move in many spots. This strategy is more flexible and can have more loses but is never bad.
Strength in Numbers
Units:3-5 light units, 1-2 heavy units and 2-3 ranged units.
The idea is no squishy units. No fast units since they are shredded by all others except artillery units. No artillery units since they are too vulnerable and low damage. Ranged unit is acceptable since it has enough speed to get out of terrible situations. The light unit is the back bone of this force. Light units in trees have effectively no disadvantages where all else have several. Decide which part of your 1/2 of the map has the most bush/tree and that's probably where you should head. If they have no artillery units pick the best defensive position and hold it. You can wait for their melee to get to you since you are in defensive terrain taking much less damage. Or you can push forward every turn but make sure to stay in defensive terrain. If they have artillery units regardless of tactics you can partially ignore if for a turn or two killing their more damage per turn units. With this combo their fast will have only a few targets to hit which you can easily guard. Their light will be countered by your heavy. Their heavy countered by your heavy and ranged units. There ranged units will be easy work for your light units to charge down. It might sound like the light unit is not adding much but its adding a substitute heavy troop who can take nearly as much but hit harder. This idea will do generally well but having too many of any unit opens you up to being countered by opposite unit. I suggest 3 light, 2 heavy and 3 ranged units. Heavy as more of a defensive unit you want less than high damage units.
Units: 8 light units
Not common but possible. The advantage here is using the most versatile unit at its best. It is fast unit enough to cross the map quickly. Its main threat is heavy unit. Depending on how many there are will be the difference between winning and losing. Placing your units on bush/forests will make a huge difference and if you can catch their heavy units off of plains you stand a chance to win. In colonial age with stealth this becomes a very practical strategy where the only threat is heavy unit but being on forests it will be a fair fight.