Skirmishers are a type of unit in Empire: Total War.
Empire: Total WarEdit
In Empire: Total War, most standard units are armed with some sort of firearm. Skirmishers, then, generally possess the ability to shoot even farther than regular units. Armed with muskets, rifles, or even bows, skirmishers harrass and wear down other units before line infantry and other closer-ranged units engage them. In addition, most skirmishers have the ability to deploy a loose formation, allowing them to take fewer casualties from fire--at the cost of making them more vulnerable to charges. On the flip side, most skirmishers do not have good melee capabilities or high morale, and all skirmisher types have inferior numbers. This makes skirmishers generally unsuited to fighting in close combat.
Most skirmishers have the ability to deploy Fougasse or its improved variant if they are given enough time to remain stationary on the world map. This early form of land-mine can devastate any regiment that wanders too close.