The Genoese Guard is the upgrade of the Genoese Arbalester. It is considerably stronger than the Arbalester, has slightly better bonuses and also no minimum range. However, the Guard also fires inaccurately at full range. This unit is more similar to its mercenary equivalent, the Genoese Crossbowman.
Available to: Genoa
Trained at: Guild Hall
Cost: 60 Food, 55 Florins
Armor/Pierce Armor: 2/2
Accuracy Percentage: 50
Reloading Time: 5
Special: +7 vs. infantry, +3 vs. rams.
Upgrade of: Genoese Arbalester
Attack, Range: Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Bracer, Bow Practice
Armour: Padded Archer Armour, Leather Archer Armour, Ring Archer Armour
Accuracy: Thumb Ring
Training time: Indenture
The Genoese Guard is a killer to all infantry and slow moving units. Even armies of light cavalry can be severely decimated before they reach a company of Genoese Guards and even then these crossbows can hold their ground for some time. However, they should always be backed by a company of light cavalry to hunt down longer ranged, crossbowmen, archers or skirmishers.
However, the high costs make it easy for an enemy to outnumber this unit without great effort, so Genoese Guards are used best as a supporter or in situations where they can concentrate their fire on a small area.
Constant service abroad and in the colonies creates extremely experienced men. Any prudent Genoese ruler would keep an elite guard at home, in case of any unforseen events.
This was especially moreso during the onset of the 13th century when the city-states of northern Italy were feeling the effects of a power struggle between the Papacy (based in Rome and vying for greater control) and the Emperor (based in Germany, and southern Italy during Hohenstaufen rule). With tensions running high, it was unsurprising that rival nobles would often choose to either support the Papacy or the Emperor himself, depending on their motivations for doing so, and Italian city-states such as Genoa were not spared from this. Thus, it was often vital that the lords of the Italian cities attempt to keep weapons out of the hands of potential troublemakers, and put them instead at the disposal of other parties whose loyalty was without question.