The Rifleman is a Gunpowder unit available in the Industrial Era.


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 and the 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 20 to 30 seconds per shot for a well-trained soldier.


The Rifleman is the result of a significant upgrade in small firearms technology during the late Renaissance/early Industrial Era. The invention of new loading systems allows a unit to shoot many more bullets per minute than with earlier weapons, and a new design of the barrel of the gun gives its projectile a much greater boring force. The soldiers that use these new rifles are substantially more powerful than Musketmen, giving the army of a civilization with Riflemen a big advantage over armies that don't have them yet.

Still, like earlier infantry units, the Riflemen remain vulnerable against ranged barrages, as well as hit-and-run cavalry attacks.

Unique Unit Replacements

Icon Unit Civilization Abilities
Unitflag abrade
The Ashanti (Osei Tutu I)
  • Combat bonus vs wounded units
  • +2 Moves Movement for 1 turn after being trained
Unitflag bersaglieri
Sardinia-Piedmont (Victor Emmanuel II)
  • +1 Moves Movement and a combat bonus when in friendly territory
  • Can upgrade to Garibaldino after earning 4 levels
Sweden (Gustavus Adolphus)

Sweden (Karl XII)

  • Starts with the March promotion
Unitflag Colorado
Bolivia (Belzu)
  • +15% Strength Combat Strength in rough terrain
  • +1 Strength Combat Strength if the empire is Happy
Freikorps 256
Frei flag
Germany (Frederich Wilhelm I)
  • +30% Strength Combat Strength in friendly terrain
  • double movements in Forest tiles
Nepal (Prithvi Narayan)
  • +2XP every turn
  • +50% XP generation from combat
  • -11% Production Production Cost
Unitflag highlander
Scotland (James VI)
  • Double Moves Movement when in hills
  • Starts with additional Experience for each Greatwork Great Work in the city
Unitflag Jaakari
Finland (Kekkonen)
  • Gains Experience each turn spent in a friendly civ's territory
  • Starts weaker
Unitflag jaeger
Germany (Bismarck)

(When Hitler's Germany / Arminius' Germans are installed)

  • Starts with the Scouting I and Survivalism I promotions
  • Can earn Recon unit promotions
  • Earns promotions 15% faster
Jazayerchi icon
Jazayerchi The Afsharids (Nader Shah)
  • +1 Moves Movement
  • +50% flanking bonus
  • Grants Flanking bonus to Mounted units within 2 tiles
Unitflag katipunero
The Philippines (Jose Rizal)
  • +1 Moves Movement when in friendly territory
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength after choosing an Ideology
  • Abilities stay on upgrade
Unitflag landwehr
Prussia (Frederick)
  • Increased Strength Combat Strength when adjacent to other units
Mehal Sefari
Ethiopia (Haile Selassie)
  • Starts with the Drill I promotion
  • Has a combat bonus when near the Capital
Nauvoo Legion Deseret (Brigham Young)
  • +25% Strength Defense in Desert and Plains.
  • Receive a free Nauvoo Legion whenever you found a city on Desert or Plains, or whenever a Settler is killed.
Norwegian Ski Infantry
Denmark (Harald Bluetooth)

(When Christian IV's Denmark-Norway isn't installed)

  • +25% Strength Combat Strength when in snow, tundra, and hills
  • Double Moves Movement when in snow, tundra, and hills
Unitflag redcoat
Great Britain (Victoria)
  • Ignores terrain cost and enemy zones of control
  • Offsets production penalties from unhappiness when garrisoned
Unitflag redguard
Red Guard
China (Mao Zedong)
  • Weaker
  • Spawns for free adjacent to a city when a Social Policy is enacted
  • Costs no maintenance when garrisoned
  • Grants CultureIcon Culture per turn equal to its level or number of Social Policy trees completed (whichever is higher) when garrisoned
Royal Regiment Rhodesia (Ian Smith)
  • +10 HP healed when fortifying outside friendly territory
  • +50% defense
Unitflag rurales
Mexico (Benito Juárez)

Mexico (Guadalupe Victoria)

Benito Juárez version:
  • +3 CultureIcon Culture and +15% Strength Combat Strength when garrisoned

Guadalupe Victoria version:

  • +2 Local Happy Happiness when garrisoned
  • +10% Strength Combat Strength in friendly territory
Sharpshooter Confederate States (Jefferson Davis)
  • Bombards enemies with a weak ranged attack before melee attack
  • +20% defense when on an Antebellum Manor
  • -4 Strength Combat Strength
Ski Infantry
Denmark-Norway (Christian IV)
  • +2 Moves Movement when starting on a hill tile
  • +20% Strength Combat Strength when starting on a hill tile
Unitflag sometent
Andorra (Roger-Bernard III)
  • -9% Combat Strength (31 vs 34)
  • -55% Production cost (125 vs 225)
  • Starts with the Altitude Training promotion

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