All about weapons

Total cost of one brigade

Weapon Cost of weapons Cost of training, horses Recruitment bonus Total cost
Musket 80 - 160 240
Springfield 240 - 160 400
Sharp 960 - 160 1120
Shotgun 150 300 100 550
Spencer 1000 300 100 1400
Smoothbore 2880 160 32 3072
Parrott 4480 160 32 4672
Whitworth 7040 160 32 7232

I've assumed a recruitment bonus of 4; but, as you can see, it doesn't matter very much, because in most cases the recruitment bonus is a small part of the total cost.

Remember that the cost of weapons can be zero in the case of muskets and shotguns: if you don't have enough in stock when recruiting a new brigade, they bring their own weapons.

The effectiveness of weapons in practice

I've conducted experimental battles to try to determine what effect weapons actually have on battles in this game. In these battles, I tried to give both sides the same advantages as far as possible: the same quality of leadership, morale, battlefield effect, etc. This was quite difficult to achieve, and in some cases there were slight differences between the two sides.

Here are some raw results:


Clearly, cavalry are penalized in battle for being cavalry. The shotgun is a better weapon than the musket, but they achieve less with it. Even with Spencers, which are twenty times as good as muskets by the game's own rating, cavalry seem little more effective than musketeers — which I think is a flaw in the game.

As cavalry are more expensive than infantry, especially with Spencers, the conclusion is obvious: don't use them in battle if you can possibly avoid it. Perhaps cavalry are worth buying for their special abilities: they survive better when out of supply, and they can see hostile units up to 5 hexes away (infantry can see hostiles up to 4 hexes away). You have to decide for yourself.


Especially considering the great expense of artillery, it's disappointing to find that an artillery brigade, even with Whitworths, is worth less in battle than a brigade of musketeers, and also worth less than re-equipping the musketeers with Springfields. Artillery is necessary to take a city defended by a fortified garrison; but there seems no other use for it. I think this is another flaw in the game.

I've also noticed during my experiments that a unit moving with artillery suffers greater fatigue than one moving without — and increasing the amount of artillery seems to increase the fatigue. So artillery is of little use in battle, and even less if it has to move to get there.


Infantry emerges from these tests as the king of the battlefield: much better value for money than either cavalry or artillery.

Given that highly-rated weapons have so little practical effect on the performance of cavalry and artillery, I was rather surprised to find that Springfields are genuinely useful. Apparently, an infantryman with a Springfield is worth about 1.7 musketeers in battle: roughly equivalent to one and a half levels of training.

(So far I've taken Frank's word for the value of training: I haven't tested it myself.)

The "Effect of weapons" row in battle analyses

According to some research published by Donnie on the Adanac forum (31 October 2002), the various weapons in the game contribute the following scores to the weapons factor in battles.

Infantry:  musket = 8, Springfield = 72, Sharp = 96
Cavalry:  shotgun = 16, Spencer = 160
Artillery:  smoothbore = 96, Parrott = 120, Whitworth = 180

These figures are each for one brigade. The weapons effect for a battle is simply the average score for all brigades engaged. The number of men or artillery pieces in each brigade isn't counted in the weapons effect, though I hope it's counted elsewhere in the battle calculations.

However, these figures are misleading, because there are various other, more important factors affecting battle results, and in practice the quality of weapons has relatively little effect (see experimental results above).