God is Spanish, and seems to fight for us these days.

— Gaspar de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares

Arquebus Tercio:
Vital statistics

Unit type

Light gunpowder infantry

Built/trained At


Damage and weapon type



Production Cost

  • Pop cost: 1
  • Resource cost: 80 Log; 80Food 40Book
  • Ramp cost: 2Log; 2Food, 1Book


  • Good weapon range
  • Medium LOS

Unit move & creation speed

  • Movement speed: Slow
  • Creation speed: very fast

Hit points


  • Creation Speed:

Technological Requirements/Upgrades


  • Bullypulley Castrum

Upgrade of Religious Fanatics

Available To

A potential game-changer, the Arquebus Tercio is best described as a militant cleric with a gun. This unit has two functions: it can create deadly volleys of shot, and it can also heal friendly units in their vicinity, ensuring that your units' morale and resistance can be maintained between battles. This ability can be very useful in maintaining your troops in long expeditions into enemy territory, and the presence of arquebus Tercios can often mean a difference between victory and defeat during heated infantry battles. Keep your Tercios close to your troops at all times, as although they are capable of healing one another, Tercios are still vulnerable to the usual weapons: archers and cannon will get to them, and heavy cavalry can charge them, albeit with substantial losses.

Although somewhat primitive, difficult to create and not as effective as crossbows, arquebuses had one advantage: they needed little training to use effectively as a weapon of war, and in an age where enemies still relied greatly on melee weapons in battle, the arquebus could provide a psychological edge over enemies unused to the smoke and noise it created. It was with this weapon that the Spanish conquered Italy. In America, it helped the English to make their mark on the New World by helping early colonists repel native attacks on their settlements.

Spanish arquebusiers were arranged in the tercios or square formation, along with their counterparts using sword and pike. The benefit of this was that Tercio formations were flexible enough to be moved around the battlefield, capable thus of taking out both melee cavalry and enemy infantry through a frontal assault. Its only weakness was that it could be outflanked, as were the Portuguese by the Moroccans at Alcacer Qibir, or the Spanish at Nieuwpoort during the Dutch rebellion — in both cases, the Moroccans and the Dutch used missile weapons in linear formation to provide enfilade fire on the tercio formations used by their enemies, thus obtaining a missile superiority advantage of the tercios.

Unit summaryEdit

  • Ranged missile infantry, with less reach but somewhat better payload than normal arbaletiers, capable of boosting nearby units. Devastating against all units in range except elite heavy cavalry.
  • Quirky Cost Structure — Arquebus Tercios 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, Arquebus Tercios are near to worthless when facing Imperial Era heavy cavalry, especially unique ones, which will have an anti-gunpowder bonus.

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