The Rifleman is the Ranged Unit of the Industrial Age, and is recruited in the Rifleman Range. It has high damage and moderate defense. It receives additional damage on rocks, and is effective against heavy units while being vulnerable against fast units, such as the Lancer. It is less useful compared to Ranged Units of previous ages due to the range increase of many other units in the age. The Rifleman is the last unit with "classic" attack bonuses against heavy units. The next era, the Progressive Era, changes unit characteristics significantly.
The Rifleman remains very useful against heavy units, in the Industrial Age, the Howitzer. The range of the Rifleman allows it to hit opposing units even on the first turn. The Rifleman remains a weak unit however, and can be taken out in two hits in most scenarios. However, the improved defense allows it to take several hits from artillery units.
Against Same Age Units
The Lancer is one of the most dangerous opponents of the Rifleman. Lancers are very effective in attacking and defending against the Rifleman, especially with its defense against ranged units. Meanwhile, the Rifleman is unable to stay out of movement range of the Lancer, as well as unable to do significant damage against the Lancer. The Rifleman should be used to attack other targets before attacking the Lancer.
The Rifleman is mostly ineffective against the Jaeger Infantry. Since Jaeger Infantry have the Stealth ability, many times the A.I. will move the opponent's Jaegers into forests, where they cannot be damaged by Rifleman. Add that to the fact that Jaegers have a range of 6, resulting in Rifleman being unable to hit Jaeger Infantry. However, if Jaeger Infantry are not hidden in forests, the Rifleman can do good damage against it.
The Rifleman excels at killing Howitzers. The Howitzer loses movement points compared to the previous age's heavy unit, making it less able to get close to the Rifleman. Even with the range increase of the Howitzer, the Rifleman can easily hit the Howitzer without fearing from significant damage return. With the increased damage bonus of the Rifleman against heavy units, as well as decreased defense on the Howitzer, Riflemen can reliably kill Howitzers in a few hits.
The Breech Loader is only somewhat useful against the Rifleman. The Rifleman has above average defense for a ranged unit of the age, and so it takes insignificant damage from the Breech Loader. However, the long range of the Breech Loader means it can hit the Rifleman across the map. However, if Breech Loaders are in range of the Rifleman, the Rifleman can easily hit and kill the Breech Loader.