Improved Volley Gun

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"They made a noise like thunder and caused much loss in men and horses ... [by the end of the battle] the whole plain was covered by men struck down by arrows and cannon balls."

In game[edit]

Improved Volley Gun — Vital statistics
Improved Volley Gun

Ranged missile infantry, with less reach but somewhat better payload than normal arbaletiers, devastating against all units in range except elite heavy cavalry.

Prereq: Build time HP LOS Attack Attack speed Movement
Upgrade of
  • Bombardment Fortification
  • Centralisation Taxation
100 30 24 x 5 3.4s
Cost Created from Armour Weapon range Specialty
Base Ramp Pop
Wealth.jpg: 280;
Timber: 60
Wealth.jpg: 1;
Timber: 1;
Book.png: 1
2 Castelo.jpg 0 2–16
  • Brutal versus infantry, cavalry
  • Attack penalty versus buildings.

Poland Burgundy Portugal

Overall strategy[edit]

The Improved Volley Gun is an even heavier version of the Volley Gun, having better attack, field of fire and can fire an extra round, making it deadlier against enemy units. This new incarnation in comparison to its earlier forbear now is now capable of eviscerating most armies foolish to come into its reach as it can deal even more splash damage upon contact with the enemy.

Unit summary[edit]

  • Quirky Cost Structure — Arquebusiers cost food, timber and knowledge as opposed to the archer line's timber and wealth, meaning that they are suitable either to factions with a knowledge and research advantage or those intending to do their fighting in the late game.
  • Knight Mare — Although devastating as an anti-personnel weapon, and also capable of dealing serious damage to light cavalry, the arquebus is near to worthless when facing Imperial Era heavy cavalry, especially unique ones, which will have an anti-gunpowder bonus.
  • Assault and Gunnery — Portugal's Arquebusiers may be harder to obtain, but are very useful against enemy melee units, particularly melee infantry and light cavalry once you receive them.
  • Arquebus Tercio — The Spanish Arquebusier Tercio has the ability to boost nearby units. This bonus is similar to that of a religious fanatic.
  • The Great Firewall of China — The Chinese have two gunpowder infantry units, starting from the Castle Age. Fire lancers constitute gunpowder infantry, but are weaker than the arquebus. Its upgrade, the Divine Ordnance Division, comes into play as the cheapest and fastest-producing gunpowder unit, but suffers from a notedly diminished rate of fire.
  • Kapkulu Marksman — The Turks possess the Kapkulu Guard marksman, the precursor to the Janissaries. This unit by far enjoys better range and rate of fire compared to other factions.
  • Landsknecht Gunners — Norse, French and Imperial Arquebusiers can be upgraded to Landsknecht Gunners, semi-mercenary gunpowder infantry which train faster and are better than normal Arquebusiers.


If you are playing the Western factions, this unit will undergo 3 different changes, depending on the Age you are in:


Although fearsome to enemies unaccustomed to face them, firearms in the Mediaeval Era had one problem — despite their tremendous penetrative power, they were notoriously inaccurate, cumbersome and difficult to use — an arquebus was as slow and difficult to use as a crossbow — and sometimes more dangerous. The main tactic behind their use was thus to saturate an area with shots from several hundred individuals, or to create devices which could do the same. Thus, volley guns were born. The first versions of these were created in China, and were meant to rig and launch several missiles simultaneously. This multi-rocket launcher was a simple wheelbarrow with a wooden frame, and soon spread to Korea and then west. Later, a similar concept was soon discovered in Europe, consisting of a wheel-mounted frame bearing multiple gun barrels, called a ribault or an "organ gun" from the appearance of the gun barrels mounted together on the frame. Although perhaps even harder to load than conventional firearms of the day, the barrage effect of these weapons were so devastating that they were also called "infernal machines", perhaps by knightly adversaries who fell prey to them.