Buccaneers (ETW Unit)
Although a sword, no matter what its design, may appear outdated next to a musket, it has one great advantage: it never needs loading. A truly skilled swordsman will never want for employment, and he is an intimidating sight to many regular musket-armed soldiers.
Units of swordsmen are also easier to handle tactically on a battlefield. A general does not have to make fine judgements about when to hold or give fire: he need only send his men forward to do their killing work at the right time. Once committed, they will keep fighting until death or victory comes.
Buccaneers are the only regular land infantry available to the pirates, and one of only three land unit types available (the others being pirate mobs and generals' bodyguards). Therefore, they are the mainstay of any pirate army. Although buccaneers do not possess any sort of ranged attack, they are deadly in a melee and generate fear in the ranks of their enemies. Buccaneers are best dealt with with artillery and withering fire, to break their morale and whittle down their numbers before the inevitable melee engagement.
Buccaneers have a recruitment limit of 6. While the faction might get more than 6 units when a faction with Caribbean colonies falls, this still severely weakens the Pirates and ensures they will never be more than a nuisance on land.