Suicide Soldiers/Bronze Dawn
"You here are counted outcasts for many reasons, so I have been told. All are considered marked unkindly by fate ... For some of you, misfortune came because you outlived the masters you served."
— Raymond E Feist & Janny Wurts, Daughter of the Empire
With far more mediocre statistics, Suicide Soldiers are distinguished solely in one area: in being a low-cost unit, and thus they can be created rather cheaply, given their low maintenance. These units may gravitate towards being little more than peasant rabble, but only insofar as their cost, armour, hitpoints and attack are concerned. Worst of all, they don't have the same offensive power against structures and spearmen as their peers do overseas.
Thus, Suicide Soldiers are not generally meant for tactics with great finesse — the main philosophy in using Suicide Soldiers is not to counter an enemy's archers, but to simply swarm the enemy from all sides, using your strength of numbers and psychological impact to break all resistance against you. Be wary however as since these units are rather weak, they are easily picked off by heavier units: heavy cavalry is potentially devastating against these units.
- Cheaper By The Dozen — unlike normal Militia, Suicide Soldiers are far more mediocre but are created rather quicker and cheaper, and thus meant solely for aggressive rush tactics.
- Mongoloid Syndrome — Mongolia has superior cavalry abilities, and so Suicide Soldiers are not cost-effective.
- Suicide Guys — In contrast China is adept at Suicide Soldier rushes, and China has several units to support them.
- BANZAI!!! — A powerful rush strategy can be achieved using good samurai and very cheap suicide soldiers. Utilise the speed and offensive power of your samurai to complement a light infantry banzai charge.
- Easy Meat — An army heavy with suicide soldiers is easy prey for a Mongol player with the best horse archers and keshiks. The only unit far worse than a suicide soldier is the Peasant Levy.
Unlike mediaeval Europe, which graduated towards the creation of a professional class of troops, East Asian nations relied heavily on peasant soldiers in times of war, especially throughout China, the Central Asian khanates and Southeast Asia, and only elite military forces would be sufficiently equipped with armour and weapons — or even training. Often, the individuals used for cannon fodder duty would often be among those sorts of people — the dispossessed, prisoners of war, convicts and other undesirables — seen as wholly expendable.