I really the idea of making an era based on American History, even throwing in some mythological elements, I and I think it could go a long ways. Hereâ€™s my shot at fleshing it out, let me know what you think, and I hope I havenâ€™t taken too many liberties.
Roughly, lvl 1 = king williamâ€™s war (colonial) era, lvl 2 = revolutionary era, lvl 3 = civil war era
Iâ€™ve tried to reflect the emphasis and psudo-superiority of cavalry early on, and the rise of firearms in relative unit strength.
Melee = short-ranged
Ranged = long-ranged
Letâ€™s take minutemen, cannons, and cavalry as an example unit tree and balance
I havenâ€™t given any thought to gold costs or HPâ€¦ let me know what you think
Minuteman lvl 1 levels to Continental, Rifleman
Melee 7-2 impact (musket) lawful
Continental lvl 2 levels to Union Regular
Melee 10-2 impact (musket) lawful
Union Regular lvl 3
Melee 13-3 impact (breech-loader) lawful
Rifleman lvl 2 levels to sharpshooter
Melee 7-2 impact (rifle) lawful
Ranged 7-2 impact (rifle), marksman
Sharpshooter lvl 3 lawful
Melee 10-3 impact (rifle), marksman
Ranged 10-3 impact (rifle), marksman
Culverin lvl 1 levels to Cannon
Ranged 12-1 impact (cannon) lawful
Cannon lvl 2 levels to Artillery
Ranged 19-1 impact (cannon) lawful
Artillery lvl 3 lawful
Ranged 27-1 impact (cannon)
Light Horse lvl 1 levels to Cuirassier, Officer
Melee 4-4 blade scout-type cavalry, neutral
Lancer lvl 1 levels to Cuirassier, Officer
Melee 9-2 pierce lawful
Cuirassier lvl 2 levels to Dragoon
Melee 8-3 blade lawful
Officer lvl 2 lawful
Melee 7-3 blade leadership
Dragoon lvl 3 lawful
Melee 10-3 blade
Something like that for unit balanceâ€¦? Theyâ€™d probably need a kind of
Settler, neutral, levels to
Frontiersman, levels to
and any additional kind of units that would make sense =)
I like the feel of your factions and your descriptions, but I donâ€™t see that there can be that much of a difference between Pioneers and Wild West. You could take it a couple routesâ€¦ have a frontier unit line and then an atlantic line for the Columbians, which would preserve something of the feel. I feel like merging the Pioneers, Wild Westerners, and Columbiansâ€¦ but keeping at least the first two separate does make some historical sense (Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, the â€˜Utah Warâ€™, Texas Republic, Bear Republic)
You could distinguish between the Northerners and Southerners with a Columbia and Dixie faction, giving the Dixie faction a more settled and less expansionist feelâ€¦ but that introduces the same ideas of similarities that I was pointing out above. Splitting the Natives into two factions opens up more tactical possibilities.
Columbia + Dixie or + Western Settlers
Plains - (Sioux, Blackfeet, Dakota-styled line, etcâ€¦ with an early Iroquois-styled line?)
With a culture focused on tribal allegiances and a nomadic lifestyle, the Plains Indians proved a challenge and strong regional rivals to the expansion of the early American Colonists. Their nomadic lifestyle gave rise to unparalleled skill on horseback.
They could have lots of melee horse units, differentiated by number of attacks, charge, skirmish, etc. An infantry eastern US line based on the Iroquois might round them out. Limiting non-Plains use of abilities like skirmish and charge could potential balance their lack of ranged cannon.
Western Natives (Shoshone-Ute mountain line, Comanche-Apache desert line (desert ambush ability?))
Focused on tactical use of stealth and non-standard terrain, like mountains, desert, snow, etcâ€¦ chaotic anyone?
The historical blending of peoples and cultures gives a lot of options for faction development
Spanish - Mexicans California, Florida, Mexico
Culture centered around religion, ranchero/estate economy.
Someone said they liked the idea of a Canadian-based faction. As they had perhaps the most European involvement, you could take a Canadian-based faction that evolves from French-British base units to the Mountiesâ€¦? Theyâ€™re my best bet to represent European involvement in the American Mythological Era.
The list probably needs to be whittled-down and consolidatedâ€¦ the more I think about it, Dixie, Westerners, and Columbia could be consolidated into an era with lots of units and options, much like the Loyalists are right now in the default era. Other factions could occupy tactical niches, like fast-moving melee Plains indians, mountain+desert+snow (and a little forest) ambushing Mountain West indians. The Bayou faction, like you said, has the most undead-style.
Giving the Spanish or Mexicans a conquistador-missionary style of units would be interesting as well... take the undead's plague concept as an example... (but without the new-sprites headache)...
How's this concept?
Missionary --> Jesuit (I don't know if it's alright to use real names of groups... >_> I don't have anything against them I just think the idea's cool)... when you kill an enemy unit, you have a 50% chance of getting a lvl 1 version of that unit... kind of like the plague. Convert, would that be too difficult to code?