Beylik Janissary Musketeers (ETW Unit)
As a force, they are the cream of the Ottoman army but, in comparison to some other nations, they fight in a slightly old fashioned way. This is small comfort to those who stand against them, as the janissaries are personally brave to the point of foolhardiness. They are also given to festooning themselves with weapons and hurling themselves into any fray!
Historically, the corps of janissaries (the term means “new soldiers”) dates back to the 14th Century. They were intended to replace the unreliable ghazi tribal warriors with a force indoctrinated to be completely loyal to the Sultan. This was achieved by taking boys as young as five for training and conversion to Islam if required. The janissaries had their own corps of engineers, supply troops and were even paid regularly, whether they were at war or not! Over time, however, they came to be used as bureaucrats and administrators, and this gave them too much power over the Ottoman Empire. Eventually, the janissaries’ entrenched position in government became arrogance and an entrenched position against change, and so helped the Ottomans to stagnate and decline.
Beylik Janissaries are unique to the Ottoman Empire and have the distinction of being both decent and early-game-something no other Ottoman unit type achieves. A cursory glance at their statistics imply that they are better than even the Nizam-I Cedit infantry available much later in the game; however, the Nizam possess new-model muskets that can be reloaded much more quickly, gain access to bayonets, and can utilize fire by rank. In sum, Janissaries have the advantage over many units in the early game, but fade rather quickly into obscurity in the late game. However, they can still inspire nearby units, something Nizam-I Cedit infantry do not provide.